Polymer Optical Fiber Plantar Pressure Sensors: Design and Validation Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2022

start page

  • 3883

end page

  • 3898

issue

  • 10

volume

  • 22

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1424-3210

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1424-8220

abstract

  • The proper measurement of plantar pressure during gait is critical for the clinical diagnosis
    of foot problems. Force platforms and wearable devices have been developed to study gait patterns
    during walking or running. However, these devices are often expensive, cumbersome, or have
    boundary constraints that limit the participant"s motions. Recent advancements in the quality of
    plastic optical fiber (POF) have made it possible to manufacture a low-cost bend sensor with a novel
    design for use in plantar pressure monitoring. An intensity-based POF bend sensor is not only
    lightweight, non-invasive, and easy to construct, but it also produces a signal that requires almost
    no processing. In this work, we have designed, fabricated, and characterized a novel intensity POF
    sensor to detect the force applied by the human foot and measure the gait pattern. The sensors were
    put through a series of dynamic and static tests to determine their measurement range, sensitivity,
    and linearity, and their response was compared to that of two different commercial force sensors,
    including piezo resistive sensors and a clinical force platform. The results suggest that this novel
    POF bend sensor can be used in a wide range of applications, given its low cost and non-invasive
    nature. Feedback walking monitoring for ulcer prevention or sports performance could be just one of
    those applications.

keywords

  • fiber optic macro-bend; biofeedback tool; gait monitoring; optical fiber sensor; plastic; optical fiber; plantar sensor