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Proceedings Paper

Designing an optical bendloss sensor for clinical force measurement
Author(s): David R. Linders; Wei-Chih Wang; David J. Nuckley
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Paper Abstract

In current physical medicine, specific manual forces are applied to patients for diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation, but these forces remain largely qualitiative. No universal tool exists to measure these forces and display them in real-time. To provide real-time quantitative feedback to clinicians, we have developed a disposable glove with a force sensor embedded in the fingertips or palm. The sensor is based on the fiberoptic bendloss effect whereby light intensity from an infrared source is attenuated as the fiber is bent between a series of corrugated teeth. The sensor fabricated has a very low profile (10 × 7 × 1 mm) and has demonstrated high sensitivity, accuracy, range, and durability. Forces as low as 0.1 N and up to 90 N have been measured with high signal to noise ratios. Good agreement with theoretical predictions of bendloss has been demonstrated. Current trials have obtained data from 20 ACL reconstruction patients demonstrating a significant increase in range of motion recovery for patients who consistently stretch at home over those who do not.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 April 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7295, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2009, 72951O (8 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.816542

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7295:
Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2009
Tribikram Kundu, Editor(s)

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