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Instrumenting Polyodon spathula (Paddlefish) Rostra in Flowing Water with Strain Gages and Accelerometers

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US Army Engineer Research & Development Center, Information Technology Lab, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA
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US Army Engineer Research & Development Center, Environmental Lab, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biosensors 2020, 10(4), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10040037
Received: 9 January 2020 / Revised: 4 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 11 April 2020
The prominent rostrum of the North American Paddlefish, supported by a lattice-like endoskeleton, is highly durable, making it an important candidate for bio-inspiration studies. Energy dissipation and load-bearing capacity of the structure from extreme physical force has been demonstrated superior to that of man-made systems, but response to continuous hydraulic forces is unknown and requires special instrumentation for in vivo testing on a live fish. A single supply strain gage amplifier circuit has been combined with a digital three-axis accelerometer, implemented in a printed circuit board (PCB), and integrated with the commercial-off-the-shelf Adafruit Feather M0 datalogger with a microSD card. The device is battery powered and enclosed in silicon before attachment around the rostrum with a silicon strap "watch band." As proof-of-concept, we tested the instrumentation on an amputated Paddlefish rostrum in a water-filled swim tunnel and successfully obtained interpretable data. Results indicate that this design could work on live swimming fish in future in vivo experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: strain gage; accelerometer; instrumentation; ARM M0; Low-SWaP; printed circuit board (PCB); Polyodon spathula; bio-inspired materials; bio-inspired structures; in vivo strain gage; accelerometer; instrumentation; ARM M0; Low-SWaP; printed circuit board (PCB); Polyodon spathula; bio-inspired materials; bio-inspired structures; in vivo
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Thurmer, C.R.; Patel, R.R.; Riveros, G.A.; Alexander, Q.G.; Ray, J.D.; Netchaev, A.; Brown, R.D.; Leathers, E.G.; Klein, J.D.; Hoover, J.J. Instrumenting Polyodon spathula (Paddlefish) Rostra in Flowing Water with Strain Gages and Accelerometers. Biosensors 2020, 10, 37.

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