Senior Project II

February 4, 2009

      The design of the TheraPress having been completed, we are now in the construction phase. We are currently working on our overlapping valve system to continuously control the resistance of the cylinder. We are also buying metal for the foot plate components, which Eric plans to machine to the specifications. As for the sensory system, samples are being acquired or purchased to test with our design. Mike is currently working on the construction of the emg amplifier system as well as the stimulator circuit.
      We have applied to The Design of Medical Devices conference at the University of Minnesota and we plan on applying to another by the end of the month.
      Furthermore, we plan to submit our request for additional funding for the goniometer sensor and for travel expenses.

Force Sensors are in!

November 22, 2008

In order to assess the force production of the TheraPress (name change!), we looked into force sensors. Dr. Paliwal recommended Tekscan sensors which have the advantage of measuring up to 1000 pounds while having a thickness of less than a millimeter! Below, Mike and Matt calibrate one of the sensors with the proper amplifier circuit and the use of a 45 pound weight.

We are getting ready for our presentation which is in a little more than a week! This means compiling the information we have researched for the last three months into our paper and organizing our power point presentation. We will be presenting our senior project I findings on December 5th at 9:00am.

Consulting the Professionals

October 20, 2008

The design of the Smart Squat relies on the foundation of the current standards of rehabilitation that have been developed over the last few decades. To understand the current status of joint ailments and where the future of knee rehabilitation is headed, we consulted Dr. Doreen Stiskal and Louise DeDea of Seton Hall University. DeDea is currently a professor at Seton Hall and has had many years of clinical physical therapy experience. Dr. Stiskal's background centers on research of the biomechanics of the human body and physical therapy. She provided important background on the causes of osteoarthritis as well as its distinctions from rheumatoid arthritis. Both of the therapists suggested, for the benefit and successful testing of the project, that our machine concentrate on the rehabilitation of pre-surgical patients and those suffering the varying discomforts of arthritis. With this approach, we would have a better patient pool to run our studies and obtain usable results at the end of the project. They offered warnings about the torsional motion of the machine, and explained how this movement could be catastrophic for total knee arthroplasty patients.

Also, we have recieved our squat machine from Hydraulic Fitness. They have been an invaluable resource and we would like to thank them for their support. We will be modifying the machine by adding an degree of rotation at the foot as well as a modification for the inclusion of the power source and the user interface.

Getting Started!

September 28, 2008

This week our group successfully marketed our idea to Hydraulic Fitness and they have agreed to donate one of their top of the line squat machines. This machine will serve as the base for the Smart Squat system. Major renovations to the donated device will be the conversion to automatic hydraulic adjustment as well as seamless integration of power systems and modifications for the user interface.

Additionally, this week Mike and Eric visited a rehabilitation clinic and interviewed with the specialist. They inquired about the types of rehabilitation typical for a TKA patient, and where our device would play into this regiment. The therapist noted that our device might be best suited for outpatient therapy, for longer periods of rehabilitation.