G-M.1 Musculoskeletal Assessment Device (MAD)
The purpose of this project is the prototype design and development of a new device to assess musculoskeletal mass, mobility and strength. This project follows the previous GT Capstone projects (e.g. Fall 2020 Actin Action & Flex Appeal) successfully completed between August 2020 and December 2020 on device development for muscle strength. Those projects focused on the mechanical aspects of the device. In the current project, we aim to accomplish design and prototype testing of the electronic components using tensor-sensor technology in conjunction with user interphase and software development on readouts.
It is envisioned that this new has many applications; musculoskeletal health and mobility is essential for longevity and quality of life. When fully developed, this device will allow tracking of growth, aging, and recovery after injuries. It is also invaluable to determine disease severity and response to treatment for patients suffering from inflammatory or degenerative muscle diseases and arthritis. Recent COVID-19 environment has shifted medical care to telemedicine; there is an urgent need for development of objective and practical tools to accomplish accurate remote patient assessment.
Background: The muscle strength is proportional to the muscle mass and can be impaired upon injury or illness. The muscle mass is subject to change upon nutrition, exercise or immobility, growth or natural aging and microgravity. The muscle strength is the unit force generated by the muscle upon presence of external resistance. The measurement of muscle strength is currently done by a standardized physical exam called “Manual Muscle Testing” or MMT by a provider. Muscle strength can also be estimated by weight lifting, or products attached to a dynamometer. Currently, commercially available products are not practical for everyday use, most are large and bulky units and with cost in thousands (USD). Currently assessment of the joints is done manually to assess swelling and limitation during a physical exam by a provider. Both muscle and joint assessment is semi-objective and subject to examiner bias. Ultrasound, CT and MRI studies are expensive and require trained staff, equipment and designated location. The underlying principle of the new device for signal detection will allow both 1 (strength) and 2 (surface) dimensional measurements that is meaningful for longitudinal assessment of a given muscle or joint.
The Specific Aim:
- To design detection system based on applications tensor-sensor technology to assess biceps strength and tissue volume for the knee joint.
- To design user interface of the detection system.
The most important qualities of the prototype design is to allow disposability and low cost for widespread application by the public. It is also equally important that the product will allow modularity and customizability for applications on specific age groups with a range of body weight and size. In addition, this device should be consumer friendly and easy to use, self-applicable. The readings generated should be reproducible and accurate to provide valuable input and allow medical decisions through telemedicine. Additional desired Properties include easy application, safety without a risk for elicited skin problems or tissue injuries, size and weight allowing portability, material composition for durability and hygiene, accuracy of strength readings, adaptations to test small and large muscle groups and joints, fast track application and data acquisition, design to allow adaptations to blue tooth connection and wireless data upload.
Preliminary suggestion for consideration: A modular 3D printed system that is based on 3D printed sensors and integrated control circuits, or alternatively a sensor control printed circuit board controlling wearable silicone customizable patch consisting of pressure and strain sensors. The design will be finalized by the senior team and will be completely open to other approaches.
- Biology/Pre-Health Experience
- Electrical Engineering/Circuits
- 3D Printing