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The development of a wearable acoustic emission device for the monitoring of knee joint health

Blaikie, Polly 2024. The development of a wearable acoustic emission device for the monitoring of knee joint health. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease affecting the synovial joints. It affects approximately 528 million people worldwide, with 365 million of those having knee OA. Clinical assessment and treatment planning for OA are currently hampered by a lack of validated, quantitative methods for diagnosis and monitoring. Therefore, options for disease management, timely intervention, and subsequent monitoring of these interventions are limited, leading to sub-optimal patient outcomes. The aim of this work is to develop a system that quantitatively measures differences in invivo knee joint health using Acoustic Emission (AE) A review of AE on the human body identified an additional objective – to ensure that the proposed novel in-vivo AE data collection protocols are valid. This is highlighted by the inconsistency in the adhesive attachment of the AE sensor to soft tissue in previous studies. Therefore, a sub-study addresses how adhesives should be specified and tested, for use on living tissue. This thesis describes the successful development of a novel, miniaturised and wearable system to detect and monitor AE (called the Teensy Wearable System, TWS) which was then trialled on twelve participants. Novel synchronised AE and marker-based motion capture data, previously unreported in the literature, provides new insight into AE and knee biomechanics. This preliminary application study demonstrates that the TWS produces outputs equivalent to a commercial system, can be applied repeatably between participant visits, and can detect differences between participant cohorts. Further novelty lies in combining AE and biomechanics data to classify participants based on knee joint health. This work has produced a working, reliable, proof-of-concept device (TWS), with compelling evidence for future successful development into a clinical device. Further work involving the integration of an inertial measurement unit and streamlining of the developed wearable into a knee worn patch is recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1) Osteoarthritis 2) Acoustic Emission 3) Wearable 4) Knee 5) Diagnostic 6) Biomechanics
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 May 2024
Last Modified: 01 May 2024 14:49

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