Radiographic Strain Indicators to Non-Invasively Measure Implant Healing (2015-038)

Market Overview:

This orthopedic plate strain indicator non-invasively measures and assesses fracture healing and bone fusion. Every year there are approximately two million fracture fixations in the U.S. While medical implants and plates are usually robust, infection and healing assessment are still significant concerns. It is currently difficult to access when bone has healed sufficiently to allow weight bearing, especially as it varies greatly from patient to patient due to age, health, injury type, and other risk factors. There is a need for in situ monitoring of implant infection because infection is a complication in 20 percent of implant surgeries, and it is sometimes difficult to diagnose infection because it is localized to the implant surface. Clemson University Researchers have developed a non-invasive orthopedic plate strain indicator which utilizes a simple and robust readout that only requires passive sensing and can be easily adapted into the current surgical workflow for the evaluation of fracture healing and bone fusion.


Application                                                                      Stage of Development

Measure and assessment of bone healing                          Preliminary proof of concept



•       Uses of in-situ ruler and chemical sensors, providing passive sensing and non-invasive assessment

•       Provides a simple and robust readout, allowing tool to be easily adopted into current orthopedic workflow


Technical Summary

This approach to measuring implant strain uses an orthopedic plate that indicates strain by using a radiographical indicator that can be analyzed using an x-ray, MRI, MPI, or ultrasound. There is also a chemical sensor based upon measuring swelling that is used to monitor infection, addressing the need to measure chemical concentrations (e.g. glucose and pH) non-invasively through tissue, to provide an indication of infection, necrosis, and other conditions. A pressure sensor is also incorporated to measure pressure in inaccessible organs in the body after operation via an x-ray sensor


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Inventors:                        Jeffrey Anker, John DesJardins, Caleb Behrend


Application Type:            Provisional


Serial Number:                62/204,111


CURF Reference:            2015-038


Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Andy Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
Jeffrey Anker
John Desjardins
Caleb Behrend
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