Characterizing plantar soft tissue mechanical properties is essential to fully understand the potential for ulcer formation in diabetic patients. Ulcers initiate in the under layers of foot where soft tissues become stiffer. If changes in soft tissue stiffness can be detected early, foot ulcer formation may be prevented. Also, monitoring soft tissue mechanical properties could be beneficial for prosthetic and orthotic fitting, sport performance monitoring, and injury prevention and detection. This paper presents a method, using wearable ultrasonic and force sensors, for continuous monitoring of plantar soft tissue stiffness at the heel. With this method, simultaneous measurement of pressure and tissue displacement at the heel was performed and pressure-displacement curves were obtained while the person was stepping. This achievement establishes a basis for future research to assess mechanical properties of plantar soft tissues in real-time for foot ulcer screening.

Additional Metadata
Keywords diabetic foot, plantar soft tissue, stiffness, viscoelasticity, wearable ultrasonic and force sensors
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBSISC.2016.7508627
Conference 2016 IEEE EMBS International Student Conference, ISC 2016
Citation
Zabihollahy, F. (Fatemeh), Trindade, B.M. (Bruno M.), Ono, Y, & Lemaire, E.D. (Edward D.). (2016). Continuous monitoring of mechanical properties of plantar soft tissue for diabetic patients using wearable ultrasonic and force sensors. Presented at the 2016 IEEE EMBS International Student Conference, ISC 2016. doi:10.1109/EMBSISC.2016.7508627