Abstract: This study aimed to explore the application of infrared thermography in combination with ambulatory wearable monitoring of temperature and relative humidity, to assess the residual limb-to-liner interface in lower-limb prosthesis users. Five male traumatic transtibial amputees were involved, who reported no problems or discomfort while wearing the prosthesis. A thermal imaging camera was used to measure superficial thermal distribution maps of the stump. A wearable system for recording the temperature and relative humidity in up to four anatomical points was developed, tested in vitro and integrated with the measurement set. The parallel application of an infrared camera and wearable sensors provided complementary information. Four main Regions of Interest were identified on the stump (inferior patella, lateral/medial epicondyles, tibial tuberosity), with good inter-subject repeatability. An average increase of 20% in hot areas (P < 0.05) is shown after walking compared to resting conditions. The sensors inside the cuff did not provoke any discomfort during recordings and provide an inside of the thermal exchanges while walking and recording the temperature increase (a regime value is ~+1.1 ± 0.7 °C) and a more significant one (~+4.1 ± 2.3%) in humidity because of the sweat produced. This study has also begun the development of a reference data set for optimal socket/liner-stump construction.
Keywords: gait; amputee; thermography; prosthesis assessment; wearable temperature and humidity sensors
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Cutti, A.G.; Perego, P.; Fusca, M.C.; Sacchetti, R.; Andreoni, G. Assessment of Lower Limb Prosthesis through Wearable Sensors and Thermography. Sensors 2014, 14, 5041-5055.
Cutti AG, Perego P, Fusca MC, Sacchetti R, Andreoni G. Assessment of Lower Limb Prosthesis through Wearable Sensors and Thermography. Sensors. 2014; 14(3):5041-5055.
Cutti, Andrea G.; Perego, Paolo; Fusca, Marcello C.; Sacchetti, Rinaldo; Andreoni, Giuseppe. 2014. "Assessment of Lower Limb Prosthesis through Wearable Sensors and Thermography." Sensors 14, no. 3: 5041-5055.