Virtual Goat

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Animal health
The Method is situated in
  • Translational - Applied Research
Type of method
  • In silico
This method makes use of
  • Animal derived cells / tissues / organs
Species from which cells/tissues/organs are derived
Capra aegagrus hircus
Type of cells/tissues/organs
Muscle, fat, intestines' content and tissue, bone


Method keywords
  • computational models
  • in silico analysis
Scientific area keywords
  • electromagnetic simulations
  • Antenna Design
  • computational modelling
Method description

Full-wave electromagnetic (EM) simulations solve the laws of Maxwell for a given problem. When designing a wireless solution for an Internet of Animal Health (IoAH) application, multiple iterations are needed to achieve well-defined metrics such as energy efficiency, electrical and mechanical robustness against environmental changes and reproducibility. When considering in-body devices, the surrounding tissue will electromagnetically couple with the radiating in-body antenna. Therefore, to optimize the antenna, the body of the animal and its electromagnetic properties must be well characterized and digitalized. The characterization is done by measuring the electrical permittivity and permeability of bulk tissue (Gabriel, 1996). To construct the heterogeneous model of the animal, a slaughtered animal was measured and expertly drawn in computer aided design (CAD) software. This model of the animal, together with the measured tissue properties, can be imported in the full-wave electromagnetic solver. In this in silico environment, multiple iterations and placements can be tried out at a low cost and without any extra test animals. Once the above defined metrics are achieved, only validation tests are left to be performed on test animals.

Lab equipment
  • Electromagnetic solvers (CST, Sim4Life, COMSOL, HFSS,...)
  • Computation cluster
Method status
  • Internally validated

Pros, cons & Future potential

  • - Cost reduction
  • - Reduction in-vivo and in-vitro experiments
  • - Improved understanding of underlying mechanisms
  • - Generalization of the results by digitally varying the model
  • - Validation of model assumptions / predictions / results still required a small set of test animals;
  • - Simplified body model can have unforeseen consequences.
  • The current method is described for goats. It can easily be extended to other animals.
Future & Other applications

With the increased interest in automatic farming and IoAH, the demand for wireless in-body development will increase. This method will decrease significantly the need of test animals in the coming decade during the maturing of this technology.

References, associated documents and other information

Contact person

Jasper Goethals


Ghent University (UGent)
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Flemish Region

Ghent University (UGent)
Faculty of Information Technology
Flemish Region


Ghent University (UGent)