Volume 47 Number 7, 2010
Pages 629 — 642
Abstract — The mechanical properties of human foot tissue in vivo as well as discomfort and pain thresholds are important for various applications. In this study, an apparatus for measuring the discomfort and pain thresholds and the mechanical properties of human tissues is presented. The apparatus employs a stepper motor that controls the indentation speed, as well as a load cell and potentiometer that determine the corresponding reaction force and tissue deformation (displacement), respectively. A LabVIEW program (LabVIEW 8, National Instruments Corporation; Austin, Texas) was developed to control the indentation via a data acquisition card. The apparatus can accommodate indentor displacements up to 35 mm and can impart forces up to 150 N at a controlled indentation speed in the range of 0 to 10 mm/s. Tests showed that the displacement measurement error is <0.17 mm in the nominal range (0.5% in the full scale) and the measurement error of force is <1.6 N in the nominal range (1.1% in the full scale). Experimental results indicate that the apparatus is reliable and flexible for measuring the mechanical properties of foot tissue in vivo in conjunction with pain and discomfort thresholds.
Key words: algometer, diabetic foot, discomfort, discomfort threshold, foot, heel compression, indentation, pain, pain threshold, repeatability, tissue, tissue indentor, tissue mechanical properties, tissue stiffness.
Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, October 7, 2010 9:57 AM