Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors are gaining popularity in biomedical engineering. However, specific standards for in vivo testing for their use are absolutely limited. In this study, in vitro experimental tests were performed to investigate the behaviors and applications of gratings attached to intact and fractured thighbone for a range of compression loading (<300 N) based around some usual daily activities. The wavelength shifts and the corresponding strain sensitivities of the FBG sensors were measured to determine their effectiveness in monitoring the femoral fracture healing process. Four different arrangements of FBG sensors were selected to measure strains at different critical locations on the femoral sawbones surface. Data obtained for intact and plated sawbones were compared using both embedded longitudinal and coiled FBG arrays. Strains were measured close to the fracture, posterior linea aspera and popliteal surface areas, as well as at the proximal and distal ends of the synthetic femur; their responses are discussed herein. The gratings on the longitudinally secured FBG arrays were found to provide high levels of sensitivity and precise measurements, even for relatively small loads (<100 N). Nevertheless, embedding angled FBG sensors is essential to measure the strain generated by applied torque on the femur bone. The maximum recorded strain of the plated femur was 503.97 µε for longitudinal and −274.97 µε for coiled FBG arrays, respectively. These project results are important to configure effective arrangements and orientations of FBG sensors with respect to fracture position and fixation implant for future in vivo experiments.
- Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) strain sensor
- Fracture recovery
- In vitro bone testing
- Thighbone (femur)