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Future Wearable Device Could Tell How We Power Human Movement


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Measuring tension in a student's Achilles tendon as hes running.

University of WisconsinMadison engineers have developed a device to help determine whether tendon injuries are sufficiently healed for people to resume their normal activities.

Credit: Renee Meiller

A new technology developed by University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison) engineers could one day help tell whether tendon injuries are sufficiently healed for people to resume their normal activities.

The researchers developed a new approach for noninvasively measuring tendon tension while a person is engaging in activities like walking or running. The noninvasive device is placed on the skin over a tendon, enabling the assessment of tendon force by examining how the vibrational characteristics of the tendon change when it undergoes loading, as it does during movement.

The new system includes a mechanical device that lightly taps the tendon 50 times per second, with each tap setting off a wave in the tendon. Two miniature accelerometers determine how quickly the wave travels.

By measuring how muscles and tendons behave within the human body, the technology could improve treatments for musculoskeletal diseases and injuries.

From University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Abstracts Copyright © 2018 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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