Research Papers

Force Sensing for an Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation Device

[+] Author and Article Information
Ahmed M. Alotaibi

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: alotaib3@purdue.edu

Sohel Anwar

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indianapolis, IN 46202
e-mail: soanwar@iupui.edu

M. Terry Loghmani

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences,
Indianapolis, IN 46202
e-mail: mloghman@iu.edu

Stanley Chien

Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering,
Indianapolis, IN 46202
e-mail: schien@iupui.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received November 6, 2016; final manuscript received April 28, 2017; published online July 18, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Rita M. Patterson.

J. Med. Devices 11(3), 031012 (Jul 18, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: MED-16-1355; doi: 10.1115/1.4036654 History: Received November 06, 2016; Revised April 28, 2017

Instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation (IASTM) is a form of mechanotherapy, e.g., massage, that uses rigid devices which may be machined or cast. The delivered force, which is a critical parameter during IASTM, is not measured and not standardized in current clinical IASTM practice. In addition to the force, the angle of treatment and stroke frequency play an important role during IASTM. For accurate IASTM treatment, there is a strong need to scientifically characterize the IASTM delivered force, angle of treatment, and stroke frequency. This paper presents a novel, mechatronic design of an IASTM device that can measure the localized pressure on the soft tissue in a clinical treatment. The proposed design uses a three-dimensional (3D) load cell, which can measure all three-dimensional force components simultaneously. The device design was implemented using an IMUduino microcontroller board which provides tool orientation angles. These orientation angles were used for coordinate transformation of the measured forces to the tool–skin interface. Additionally, the measured force value was used to compute the stroke frequency. This mechatronic IASTM tool was validated for force measurements in the direction of tool longitudinal axis using an electronic plate scale that provided the baseline force values to compare with the applied force values measured by the tool. The load cell measurements and the scale readings were found to agree within the expected degree of accuracy.

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Fig. 1

Graston Technique® instrument set (Permission for photo provided by Graston Technique, LLC)

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Fig. 2

GT-3 treatment tip (Permission for photo provided by Graston Technique, LLC)

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Fig. 3

IMUduino microcontroller

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Fig. 4

Small compression load cell (FC-08)

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Fig. 5

(a) The 3D load cell and (b) the external amplifier for the 3D load cell

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Fig. 6

(a) Device based on the compression load cell, (b) tip design for the device based on the compression load cell, and (c) sensor placements for the compression load cell mode (only left sensor inserted)

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Fig. 7

Mechatronic IASTM device orientation angles and force sensors placement

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Fig. 8

(a) Force analysis for 90 deg force applied to the tool (top left), (b) force analysis for 0–89 deg force applied to the tool (top right), and (c) force analysis for 91–180 deg force applied to the tool (bottom)

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Fig. 9

Full section for the compression load cell device

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Fig. 10

(a) Three-dimensional load cell device (top left), (b) three-dimensional load cell device frame parts (top center), (c) three-dimensional load cell device tip (top right), (d) three-dimensional load cell device back cover (bottom left), and (e) three-dimensional load cell device frame parts (bottom center)

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Fig. 11

Half section of the 3D load cell device

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Fig. 12

(a) Main coordinates for the 3D load cell device and (b) final coordinates for the 3D load cell device

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Fig. 13

Three-dimensional load cell device system configuration

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Fig. 14

The IASTM device front panel

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Fig. 15

(a) Three-dimensional printed model of compression load cell device and (b) three-dimensional printed model of 3D load cell device

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Fig. 16

(a) Electronic scale and (b) combination square set (angle validation system)

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Fig. 17

Hand position of IASTM device in the first and second tests configuration

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Fig. 18

First repeatability test (see color figure online)

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Fig. 19

Second repeatability test (see color figure online)

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Fig. 20

Hand position of IASTM device in the third test

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Fig. 21

Third repeatability test

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Fig. 22

IASTM device at 30 deg (top), 45 deg (middle), and 60 deg (bottom)

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Fig. 23

Summary of the dynamic test for the IASTM device



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