Development of a directional sensitive pressure and shear sensor
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that impacts the lives of millions of people around the world. Lower limb complications associated with diabetes include the development of plantar ulcers that can lead to infection and subsequent amputation. Shear stress is thought to be a major contributing factor to ulcer development, but due in part to technical difficulties with transducing shear stress, there is no widely used shear measurement sensor. As such, we are currently developing a directionally sensitive pressure/shear sensor based on fiber optic technology. The pressure/shear sensor consists of an array of optical fibers lying in perpendicular rows and columns separated by elastomeric pads. A map of pressure and shear stress is constructed based on observed macro bending through the intensity attenuation from the physical deformation of two adjacent perpendicular fibers. The sensor has been shown to have low noise and responded linearly to applied loads. The smallest detectable force on each sensor element based on the current setup is ~0.1 lbs. (0.4N). The smallest area we have resolved in our mesh sensor is currently ~1 cm2.
This paper was published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4702
Smart Nondestructive Evaluation for Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems, Tribikram Kundu, Editors, pp.212-221