Methods and Apparatus to Monitor Fracture Healing

Tech ID: 25188 / UC Case 2016-003-0

Brief Description

An estimated 15 million fracture injuries occur each year in the United States. Of these, 10% of fractures result in delayed or non-union, with this number rising to 46% when they occur in conjunction with vascular injury. Current methods of monitoring include taking X-rays and making clinical observations. One problem is that radiographic techniques lag and physician examination of injury is fraught with subjectivity. Another problem is that no standardized methods exist to assess the extent of healing that has taken place in a fracture. To address these problems, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed diagnostic methods and a device that can reliably detect non-union in its early pathologic phases. Berkeley’s tool utilizes impedance spectroscopy to monitor fracture health by distinguishing between the various types of tissue present in the clearly defined stages of healing. This would enable early intervention to prevent problem fractures from progressing to non-union, by providing physicians with more information that can resolve the initial stages of fracture healing.

Suggested uses

  • Bone fracture monitoring and intervention

Advantages

  • Dynamic, real-time data feedback capability
  • Uses many off-the-shelf-parts
  • Delivers new standard of assessing bone-healing in vivo 

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Inventors

  • Maharbiz, Michel M.

Other Information

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