Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Self-powered implants for injured knees

30.06.2008
As news of Tiger Woods' knee injury hits the headlines, a researcher at the University of Southampton has developed a new self-powered sensor to monitor progress during knee operations.

As part of his final year project in his Masters degree in Electromechanical Engineering, which he studied at the University's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), Fauzan Baharudin explored the potential for the use of thick film technology in the development of medical sensors which could be embedded in the knee during surgery.

This new sensor, called Serial In-vivo Transducer (SIT), which uses thick film technology, could measure tendon force during Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

The ACL is the most commonly injured ligament and is commonly damaged by athletes, in fact it is reported that this is the ligament associated with Tiger Woods’ injury.

Fauzan’s project was supervised by Professor Neil White at ECS, who, in 1991 developed thick film piezoelectric material which made it possible to produce a sensor which could power itself if it were installed in a device that vibrates and would be ideal for appliances where physical connections to the outside world were difficult.

Professor White said: ‘Although this work is still in its infancy, our earlier research in thick-film sensors has shown that it is feasible to apply the technology to medical applications such as prosthetic hands. We have also shown that it is possible to harvest energy from the human body using piezoelectric materials and the knee is subjected to very high levels of force during everyday activities. It therefore seems logical to combine the two approaches to deliver a new type of embedded, self-powered sensors

In Fauzan’s project entitled Assessing the use of thick-film technology in knee surgery: along with energy harvesting in-vivo, he has also incorporated some of this energy harvesting capability into SIT which means that it will be self-powered.

'I chose knee surgery because this has been very little research carried out in this field and I felt a self-powered device could work well in the knee,' he said.

Before developing SIT, Fauzan reviewed the existing devices in this field and concluded that due to its flexibility in fabrication, low capital cost, fast lead time and its suitability for use in the body, thick film technology is the best solution for ACL surgery. Assessment of the energy harvesting feature revealed that the device could produce more than enough energy to power itself.

'It remains a mystery to me, given how common knee injuries are among athletes, that devices like ours have not been developed before now,' said Fauzan. 'A sensible assumption for this is that thick film technology does not reach medical researchers as quickly as it does within the microelectronics community hence the delay in realising the huge potential in developing in vivo transducers.'

Helene Murphy | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>