Micolini, C.; Holness, F.B.; Johnson, J.A.; Price, A.D. Assessment of Embedded Conjugated Polymer Sensor Arrays for Potential Load Transmission Measurement in Orthopaedic Implants. Sensors2017, 17, 2768.
Micolini, C.; Holness, F.B.; Johnson, J.A.; Price, A.D. Assessment of Embedded Conjugated Polymer Sensor Arrays for Potential Load Transmission Measurement in Orthopaedic Implants. Sensors 2017, 17, 2768.
Load transfer through orthopaedic joint implants is poorly understood. The longer-term outcomes of these implants are just starting to be studied, making it imperative to monitor contact loads across the entire joint implant interface to elucidate the force transmission and distribution mechanisms exhibited by these implants in service. This study proposes and demonstrates the design, implementation, and characterization of a 3D-printed smart polymer sensor array using conductive polyaniline (PANI) structures embedded within a polymeric parent phase. The piezoresistive characteristics of PANI were studied to characterize the sensing behaviours inherent to these embedded pressure sensor arrays. PANI's stable response to a continuous load, its stability throughout loading and unloading cycles, and its repeatable and linear response to incremental loading cycles together with the accuracy of these measurements were investigated. It is demonstrated that this specially developed multi-material additive manufacturing process for polyaniline is an attractive approach for the fabrication of implant components having embedded smart-polymer sensors for the measurement and analysis of joint loads in orthopaedic implants.
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