Nano-composite Sensors for Wide Range Measurement of Ligament Strain
Biological tissues routinely experience large strains and undergo large deformations during normal physiologic activity. In order to quantify this strain, researchers often use optical marker tracking methods which are tedious and difficult. This paper investigates a new technique for quantifying large strain (up to 40%) by use of piezoresistive composite strain gages. The High Displacement Strain Gages (HDSGs) being investigated are manufactured by suspending nickel nanostrands within a biocompatible silicone matrix. The conductive nickel filaments come into progressively stronger electrical contact with each other as the HDSG is strained, thus reducing the electrical resistivity which is measured using conventional techniques. In the present work, HDSGs measured the strain of bovine ligament under prescribed loading conditions. Results demonstrated that HDSGs are an accurate means for measuring ligament strains across a broad spectrum of applied deformations. The technique has application to most biological tissue characterization applications.
KeywordsAnterior Cruciate Ligament Strain Gage Gage Factor Optical Marker Wide Range Measurement
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