Contact forces and moments act on orthopaedic implants such as joint replacements. The three forces and three moment components can be measured by six internal strain gauges and wireless telemetric data transmission. The accuracy of instrumented implants is restricted by their small size, varying modes of load transfer, and the accuracy of calibration. Aims of this study were to test with finite element studies design features to improve the accuracy, to develop simple but accurate calibration arrangements, and to select the best mathematical method for calculating the calibration constants. Several instrumented implants, and commercial and test transducers were calibrated using different loading setups and mathematical methods. It was found that the arrangement of flexible elements such as bellows or notches between the areas of load transfer and the central sensor locations is most effective to improve the accuracy. Increasing the rigidity of the implant areas, which are fixed in bones or articulate against joint surfaces, is less effective. Simple but accurate calibration of the six force and moment components can be achieved by applying eccentric forces instead of central forces and pure moments. Three different methods for calculating the measuring constants proved to be equally well suited. Employing these improvements makes it possible to keep the average measuring errors of many instrumented implants below 1–2% of the calibration ranges, including cross talk. Additional errors caused by noise of the transmitted signals can be reduced by filtering if this is permitted by the sampling rate and the required frequency content of the loads.
Design and Calibration of Load Sensing Orthopaedic Implants
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Bergmann, G., Graichen, F., Rohlmann, A., Westerhoff, P., Heinlein, B., Bender, A., and Ehrig, R. (March 28, 2008). "Design and Calibration of Load Sensing Orthopaedic Implants." ASME. J Biomech Eng. April 2008; 130(2): 021009. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2898831
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