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Title: POFBG-embedded cork insole for plantar pressure monitoring
Authors: Vilarinho, Débora 
Theodosiou, Antreas 
Leitão, Cátia 
Leal-Junior, Arnaldo G. 
De Fátima Domingues, Maria 
Kalli, Kyriacos 
André, Paulo 
Antunes, Paulo 
Marques, Carlos 
Keywords: CYTOP;Gait plantar pressure;Insole fiber bragg gratings network;Optical fiber sensors;Physical rehabilitation;Polymer optical fiber
Category: Materials Engineering
Field: Engineering and Technology
Issue Date: 16-Dec-2017
Publisher: MDPI AG
Source: Sensors (Switzerland), 2017, vol. 17, no. 12, Article no. 2924
Journal: Sensors 
Abstract: We propose a novel polymer optical fiber (POF) sensing system based on fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) to measure foot plantar pressure. The plantar pressure signals are detected by five FBGs, in the same piece of cyclic transparent optical polymer (CYTOP) fiber, which are embedded in a cork insole for the dynamic monitoring of gait. The calibration and measurements performed with the suggested system are presented, and the results obtained demonstrate the accuracy and reliability of the sensing platform to monitor the foot plantar pressure distribution during gait motion and the application of pressure. This architecture does not compromise the patient’s mobility nor interfere in their daily activities. The results using the CYTOP fiber showed a very good response when compared with solutions using silica optical fibers, resulting in a sensitivity almost twice as high, with excellent repeatability and ease of handling. The advantages of POF (e.g., high flexibility and robustness) proved that this is a viable solution for this type of application, since POF’s high fracture toughness enables its application in monitoring patients with higher body mass compared with similar systems based on silica fiber. This study has demonstrated the viability of the proposed system based on POF technology as a useful alternative for plantar pressure detection systems.
ISSN: 1424-8220
DOI: 10.3390/s17122924
Rights: © 2017 by the authors
Type: Article
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