MEMS technology sensors as a more advantageous technique for measuring foot plantar pressure and balance in humans
Sanz Morère, Clara; Surażyński, Łukasz; Rodrigo Pérez-Tabernero, Ana; Vihriälä, Erkki; Myllylä, Teemu (2016-03-02)
Clara Sanz Morère, Łukasz Surażyński, Ana Rodrigo Pérez-Tabernero, Erkki Vihriälä, and Teemu Myllylä, “MEMS Technology Sensors as a More Advantageous Technique for Measuring Foot Plantar Pressure and Balance in Humans,” Journal of Sensors, vol. 2016, Article ID 6590252, 9 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/6590252
Copyright © 2016 Clara Sanz Mor`ere et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Locomotor activities are part and parcel of daily human life. During walking or running, feet are subjected to high plantar pressure, leading sometimes to limb problems, pain, or foot ulceration. A current objective in foot plantar pressure measurements is developing sensors that are small in size, lightweight, and energy efficient, while enabling high mobility, particularly for wearable applications. Moreover, improvements in spatial resolution, accuracy, and sensitivity are of interest. Sensors with improved sensing techniques can be applied to a variety of research problems: diagnosing limb problems, footwear design, or injury prevention. This paper reviews commercially available sensors used in foot plantar pressure measurements and proposes the utilization of pressure sensors based on the MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technique. Pressure sensors based on this technique have the capacity to measure pressure with high accuracy and linearity up to high pressure levels. Moreover, being small in size, they are highly suitable for this type of measurement. We present two MEMS sensor models and study their suitability for the intended purpose by performing several experiments. Preliminary results indicate that the sensors are indeed suitable for measuring foot plantar pressure. Importantly, by measuring pressure continuously, they can also be utilized for body balance measurements.
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