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Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1615; doi:10.3390/s16101615

A Mechatronic Loading Device to Stimulate Bone Growth via a Human Knee

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dan Zhang
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 31 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics Devices)

Abstract

This paper presents the design of an innovative device that applies dynamic mechanical load to human knee joints. Dynamic loading is employed by applying cyclic and periodic force on a target area. The repeated force loading was considered to be an effective modality for repair and rehabilitation of long bones that are subject to ailments like fractures, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, etc. The proposed device design builds on the knowledge gained in previous animal and mechanical studies. It employs a modified slider-crank linkage mechanism actuated by a brushless Direct Current (DC) motor and provides uniform and cyclic force. The functionality of the device was simulated in a software environment and the structural integrity was analyzed using a finite element method for the prototype construction. The device is controlled by a microcontroller that is programmed to provide the desired loading force at a predetermined frequency and for a specific duration. The device was successfully tested in various experiments for its usability and full functionality. The results reveal that the device works according to the requirements of force magnitude and operational frequency. This device is considered ready to be used for a clinical study to examine whether controlled knee-loading could be an effective regimen for treating the stated bone-related ailments. View Full-Text
Keywords: knee-loading; modality; electro-mechanical device; loading force; bone healing; knee rehabilitation; slider crank mechanism; Arduino; Megunolink knee-loading; modality; electro-mechanical device; loading force; bone healing; knee rehabilitation; slider crank mechanism; Arduino; Megunolink
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Prabhala, S.K.; Chien, S.; Yokota, H.; Anwar, S. A Mechatronic Loading Device to Stimulate Bone Growth via a Human Knee. Sensors 2016, 16, 1615.

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