A new wireless sensor was designed, fabricated, and applied for in situ monitoring of tensile force at a wound site. The sensor was comprised of a thin strip of magnetoelastic material with its two ends connected to suture threads for securing the sensor across a wound repair site. Since the sensor was remotely interrogated by applying an ac magnetic field and capturing the resulting magnetic field, it did not require direct wire connections to an external device or internal battery for long-term use. Due to its magnetoelastic property, the application of a tensile force changed the magnetic permeability of the sensor, altering the amplitude of the measured magnetic field. This study presents two sensor designs: one for high and one for low-force ranges. A sensor was fabricated by directly adhering the magnetoelastic strip to the suture. This sensor showed good sensitivity at low force, but its response saturated at about 1.5 N. To monitor high tensile force, the magnetoelastic strip was attached to a metal strip for load sharing. The suture thread was attached to the both ends of the metal strip so only a fraction of the applied force was directed to the sensor, allowing it to exhibit good sensitivity even at 44.5 N. The sensor was applied to two ex vivo models: a sutured section of porcine skin and a whitetail deer Achilles tendon. The results demonstrate the potential for in vivo force monitoring at a wound repair site.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering