Researchers have developed a smart chip implanted in the skin after joint surgery that would transmit joint stress loads in real-time to physicians and patients, according to recent report in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
“It is a stroke of genius to combine tissue engineering and improved implant measurement technology,” Jennifer Barton, head of the University of Arizona’s biomedical engineering department, stated in the University of Arizona College of Engineering news release. “No one really knew what the specific loads were on these joints before this. The idea of having a device that is designed specifically for a patient, tied to a system that provides dynamic feedback to that patient, has tremendous possibility.”
Information collected from the chips would allow physicians to develop better ways to heal joints, according to study co-author John A. Swivek, PhD, professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Arizona. Monitoring patient activity also would decrease rehabilitation time, he stated in the release. Patient data can be transmitted wirelessly to smart phone apps, that would allow patients to monitor their own healing, and the implantable devices would be a third the size of a dime.
These implantable sensors can facilitate personalized medicine by providing exquisitely accurate in vivo data unique to each patient,” the authors wrote in the abstract.
The researchers are from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Scripps Research Institute, the Julius Wolff Institut, Charite University of Medicine and the University of Arizona.
Ledet EH, D’LimaD, Westerhoff P, et al. Implantable sensor technology: From research to clinical practice. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2012; 20(6):383-392. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-20-06-383.
Disclosure: Swivek has no relevant financial disclosures.