A Study of Six-Axis MEMS Sensors for Load Detection in Biomedical Applications

  • Author / Creator
    Benfield, David C.
  • Quantification of the loads applied in biomedical applications has the potential to increase patient safety during surgical procedures and to improve the knowledge of the mechanical behavior of biological tissues. To capture the complexity of loads in biological systems, the acquisition of 3D forces and moments at multiple locations represents an optimal solution. In order to be implemented successfully, a sensor platform with these capabilities should be compact, biocompatible, and minimally invasive. A solution for a specific application in scoliosis correction surgery has been examined in detail. This solution consists of multiple piezoresistive microelectromechanical systems sensors deployed onto existing surgical equipment in a form that allows them to transmit six-axis load information wirelessly. This research has been divided into five main phases: the design and numerical simulation of interfacial piezoresistive sensor pads, microfabrication and device design refinement, characterization of the sensor pads to determine parametric effects on device sensitivity, packaging of sensor pads to integrate wireless and power components and to install them on the surgical equipment, and finally the calibration of the packaged six-axis sensor array. The sensor array developed was determined to be capable of detecting 3D forces and moments with high sensitivity over a limited range, with appropriate power consumption for the scoliosis surgery application.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.