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Technical Brief

A Sensor System to Measure Force Applications of a Brace for Pectus Carintatum

[+] Author and Article Information
Tomasz Bugajski

Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada
tbugajsk@ucalgary.ca

Douglas Kondro

Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada
dakondro@ucalgary.ca

Kartikeya Murari

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada
kmurari@ucalgary.ca

Janet L. Ronsky

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Kinesiology, and Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada
jlronsky@ucalgary.ca

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041190 History: Received January 09, 2018; Revised August 06, 2018

Abstract

Pectus Carinatum (PC) presents itself as a protrusion located on the chest of adolescent individuals. The current treatment for PC is performed with a Pectus Carinatum Orthosis (PCO) that applies a compressive force to the protrusion. While this treatment is widely accepted, the magnitude of compressive forces applied remains unknown leading to conditions of excessive or deficient compression. Although the crucial need for this quantitative data is recognized, no studies reporting the data or methods are available. The purpose of this study was to design an accurate force measurement system (FMS) that could be incorporated into a PCO with minimal bulk. The FMS was effortlessly implemented into the PCO and was able to withstand the applied forces. The system calibration revealed an increase in load cell error with increased magnitude of applied force (mean error of 0.58 V [standard deviation = 0.34 V]). This response was speculated to be attributed to the congruency of the FMS with the surface it resided on. Participants recruited to evaluate the FMS demonstrated reliable forces with smaller standard deviations than those during the calibration. The successful FMS is the foundational component in a wireless, minimalistic sensor system to provide real time force feedback to both the clinician and patient.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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