American and Turkish scientists are developing various sensing devices that can be integrated into the body to gather information regarding any sort of fracture healing. About 10% of the fractures will not heal accurately, and doctors cannot not view and track the healing of the bones, commented Emre Unal, a Turkish nanotechnologist from Bilkent University.
For the trials, wireless sensing devices are embedded on metal plates, like the metal plates that have been utilized by the doctors to position the fractures. The wireless sensors then capture the data based on the strain imposed on them.
The nanotechnologists assume that, when the bones start healing and the patients are about to move, the sensing devices will experience reduced strain since majority of the strain will be borne by the healing bone. They anticipate that, if it is completely developed, the doctor can evaluate the strain information periodically to understand the condition of the fracture, whether it has healed accurately or not. This vital data can be accessed eliminating the need of scans and other piercing methodologies.
This recent study has been carried out in the US, trialing sheep’s metatarsals and has provided successful results. But numerous other issues have to be resolved to deploy this technology clinically. Unal stated that the sensing devices have to be fabricated with a biocompatible element and experiments have to be executed on human bones.