Date of Award

5-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Mohamed R. Mahfouz

Committee Members

William R. Hamel, Richard D. Komistek, Wei He, Ray Wasielewski

Abstract

Biocompatible sensors have been demonstrated using traditional microfabrication techniques modified for polymer substrates and utilize only materials suitable for implantation or bodily contact. Sensor arrays for the measurement of the load condition of polyethylene spacers in the total knee arthroplasty (TKA) prosthesis have been developed. Arrays of capacitive sensors are used to determine the three-dimensional strain within the polyethylene prosthesis component. Data from these sensors can be used to give researchers a better understanding of component motion, loading, and wear phenomena for a large range of activities. This dissertation demonstrates both analytically and experimentally the fabrication of these sensor arrays using biocompatible polymer substrates and dielectrics while preserving industry-standard microfabrication processing for micron-level resolution.

An array of sensors for real-time measurement of pressure profiles is the long-term goal of this research. A custom design using capacitive-based sensors is an excellent selection for such measurement, giving high spatial resolution across the sensing surface and high load resolution for pressures applied normal to that surface while operating at low power.

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