Smart Materials in Structural Health Monitoring, Control and Biomechanics

Part of the series Advanced Topics in Science and Technology in China pp 569-581

Bone Characterization Using Piezo-Transducers as Bio-Medical Sensors

  • S. BhallaAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

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Bones form the main load carrying structure of the human body. Their well being is vital for our functionality at a satisfactory level. However, no direct techniques are available to characterize the mechanical properties of bones in situ in a nondestructive manner. The mechanical properties of bones undergo changes after an injury and during the healing phase. They also change during diseased conditions, such as osteoporosis, which shows incidence in middle aged women and older men, and is a leading cause of functional loss among the elderly. This chapter demonstrates the possibility of employing miniaturized PZT patches as biomedical sensors to assess the condition of bones by detecting changes occurring in them. The previous chapters of the book have mainly focused on the use of piezo-impedance transducers as “damage sensors”. This chapter, on the other hand, explores their application to monitor the reverse phenomenon, that of healing, in the case of bones.