An implantable sensor that provides surgeons with detailed, real-time information from a surgery site could lead to more accurate assessments of a patient’s recovery.
Developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute by Faculty Researcher Eric Ledet, the sensor is attached to commonly used orthopaedic musculoskeletal implants such as rods, plates or prostheses. Scalable, tunable and easy to configure, the sensor monitors the implants and wirelessly transmits data about the load, strain, pressure or temperature of the surgery site.
Inexpensive to make and highly reliable, the sensor measures 4 mm diam and 500 microns thick. It is powered by the external device that is also used to capture sensor data.
Ledet and his research team have filed for patent protection for their new sensor. They currently make each sensor by hand, but are investigating methods for mass production.Norbert Sparrow