A Loading Device to Measure Stiffness of Fractured Bones and Monitor Healing Over Time

Loading Device to measure stiffness

Figure 1. Diagram demonstrating bending of a fracture fixation plate due to a compressive load and the resulting deflection of the plate relative to the coiled loop antenna (designed for sensing deflections of a fracture fixation plate under a mechanical load). This displacement produces a shift in the measured ARF.


Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Utility Patent: US 10674954
US Utility Patent Pending:  US 2021/0033507

At A Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a non-invasive measurement system and device in which an antenna electromagnetically couples with a patient’s implanted hardware to sense deflections of the hardware due to an applied load. This system and device utilizes displacement and load sensors to determine the stiffness of a limb. When measurements are taken over time, the system can determine whether callus stiffness is increasing and provide diagnostic monitoring of the fracture healing process during critical time points. 

The direct electromagnetic coupling method developed here holds strong potential for clinical assessments and predictions of fracture healing.  For more details, please contact our office!

Licensing Director

Steve Foster

Reference No(s): 18-053


Diagnostic monitoring and prediction of bone fracture healing is critical for the detection of delayed union or non-union and provides the requisite information as to whether therapeutic intervention or timely revision are warranted. A promising approach to monitor fracture healing is to measure the mechanical load-sharing between the healing callus and the implanted hardware used for internal fixation.

  • No internal sensor required (implant itself provides the signal)
  • Requires no alterations or additions to existing implants
  • Eliminates any regulatory approval hurdles
  • Cost effective
  • Orthopedic fracture healing monitoring
  • Detection of loosening orthopedic implants (e.g., joint replacements)
  • Research development

Last updated: June 2021

Add keywords or various names of inventors here (text is hidden)

#CSUInvents – #TechTuesday! Currently, there is no way to accurately monitor fracture healing in the early post-operative period. Researchers at CSU Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering have developed a novel method and apparatus to solve this problem. Check out this #patentpending telemetric load-sensing #orthopaedics device invented by Christian Puttlitz, Kirk McGilvray, and Kevin Labus in the Orthopaedic Bioengineering Research Laboratory at Colorado State University.