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A novel concept for low-cost non-electronic detection of overloading in the foot during activities of daily living

CHATZISTERGOS, Panagiotis and CHOCKALINGAM, Nachiappan (2021) A novel concept for low-cost non-electronic detection of overloading in the foot during activities of daily living. Royal Society Open Science, 8 (6). p. 202035. ISSN 2054-5703

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Abstract or description

Identifying areas in the sole of the foot which are routinely overloaded during daily living is extremely important for the management of the diabetic foot. This work showcases the feasibility of reliably detecting overloading using a low-cost non-electronic technique. This technique uses thin-wall structures that change their properties differently when they are repeatedly loaded above or below a tuneable
threshold. Flexible hexagonal thin-wall structures were produced using three-dimensional printing, and their mechanical behaviour was assessed before and after repetitive loading at different magnitudes. These structures had an elastic mechanical behaviour until a critical pressure (Pcrit = 252 kPa ± 17 kPa) beyond which they buckled. Assessing changes in stiffness after simulated use enabled the accurate detection of whether a sample was loaded above or below Pcrit (sensitivity = 100%, specificity = 100%), with the overloaded samples becoming significantly softer. No specific Pcrit value was targeted in this study. However, finite-element modelling showed that Pcrit can be easily raised or lowered, through simple geometrical modifications, to become aligned with established thresholds for overloading (e.g. 200 kPa) or to assess overloading thresholds on a patient-specific basis. Although further research is needed, the results of this study indicate that clinically relevant overloading could indeed be reliably detected without the use of complex electronic in-shoe sensors.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: plantar pressure, diabetic foot, pressure sensor, insole, buckling, honeycomb structure
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Panagiotis CHATZISTERGOS
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2021 09:12
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2021 09:12
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6939

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