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Sensors (Basel). 2013 Aug 12;13(8):10348-57. doi: 10.3390/s130810348.

The capability of fiber Bragg grating sensors to measure amputees' trans-tibial stump/socket interface pressures.

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Center for Applied Biomechanics, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia.


This study presents the first investigation into the capability of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors to measure interface pressure between the stump and the prosthetic sockets of a trans-tibial amputee. FBG element(s) were recoated with and embedded in a thin layer of epoxy material to form a sensing pad, which was in turn embedded in a silicone polymer material to form a pressure sensor. The sensor was tested in real time by inserting a heavy-duty balloon into the socket and inflating it by using an air compressor. This test was conducted to examine the sensitivity and repeatability of the sensor when subjected to pressure from the stump of the trans-tibial amputee and to mimic the actual environment of the amputee's Patellar Tendon (PT) bar. The sensor exhibited a sensitivity of 127 pm/N and a maximum FSO hysteresis of around ~0.09 in real-time operation. Very good reliability was achieved when the sensor was utilized for in situ measurements. This study may lead to smart FBG-based amputee stump/socket structures for pressure monitoring in amputee socket systems, which will result in better-designed prosthetic sockets that ensure improved patient satisfaction.

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