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Implantable sensor technology: measuring bone and joint biomechanics of daily life in vivo

Darryl D D'Lima1*, Benjamin J Fregly2 and Clifford W Colwell1

Author Affiliations

1 Scripps Health, Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education at Scripps Clinic, 11025 North Torrey Pines Road, Suite 200, La Jolla, CA 92037-1030, USA

2 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 231 MAE-A Building, Box 116250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-6520, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:203  doi:10.1186/ar4138

Published: 31 January 2013


Stresses and strains are major factors influencing growth, remodeling and repair of musculoskeletal tissues. Therefore, knowledge of forces and deformation within bones and joints is critical to gain insight into the complex behavior of these tissues during development, aging, and response to injury and disease. Sensors have been used in vivo to measure strains in bone, intraarticular cartilage contact pressures, and forces in the spine, shoulder, hip, and knee. Implantable sensors have a high impact on several clinical applications, including fracture fixation, spine fixation, and joint arthroplasty. This review summarizes the developments in strain-measurement-based implantable sensor technology for musculoskeletal research.