FBG in PVC foils for monitoring the knee joint movement during the rehabilitation process

By Rocha, R.P.; Silva, A.F.; Carmo, J.P.; Correia, J.H.

Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS

2011

Abstract

This paper presents a sensing electronic-free wearable solution for monitoring the body kinematics. The measuring of the knee movements, flexion and extension, with the corresponding joint acting as the rotation axis is shown as working principle. The proposed sensing system is based on a single optical Fiber-Bragg Grating (FBG) with a resonance wavelength of 1547.76 nm. The optical fiber with the FBG is placed inside a new polymeric foil composed by three flexible layers which facilitates its placement in the anatomic parts under investigation while maintaining full sensing capabilities. The way the device is placed in the specific body part to be measured enables the clear detection of the movements in respect to the joint. The proposed solution was tested using a prototype that was built to evaluate the device under different condition tests and also to assess the system’s consistency. The designed and fabricated system demonstrates clear advantages in medical fields like physical therapy applications as optical fiber is not affected by electromagnetic interference nor does the system needs complex and expensive electronic systems and mechanical parts. Another advantage is the possibility to measure, record and evaluate specific mechanical parameters of the limbs’ motion. Patients with bone, muscular and joint related health conditions, as well as athletes, are within the most important end-user applications.

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