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Surgeon Designs System to Monitor Orthopedic Implants and Promote Healing

The system uses RFID, sensors and electric stimulators to assess the functioning of an implanted orthopedic device and the surrounding tissue, as well as to hasten surgical recovery.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 18, 2008A New Jersey orthopedic surgeon says he has developed an RFID-enabled device that can measure and transmit data regarding the condition of the tissue around an implant, as well as whether the implant is functioning properly.

The device, designed by Lee Berger, a senior partner at Orthopaedic Associates in Fair Lawn, is based on patent 7333013, granted to Berger in February by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for orthopedic implants using RFID technology to help patients and physicians track healing around an implant.

Lee Berger
Berger, who describes himself as an inventor as well as a surgeon, says he has been working with the concept of linking RFID technology with surgical implants for about 10 years. Now that the patent has been granted, he hopes to develop partnerships with RFID and implant vendors to begin producing hip or knee joint replacements or spinal implants, including rods, plates and screws that come with RFID tags and sensors embedded in them.

Berger envisions employing sensors to measure pressure on the implant, as well as chemical balance, temperature and the presence of microorganisms around the device after it has been surgically attached to a patient. Sensors would measure pressure to determine if the implant has shifted, and would gauge the other factors to track the presence of an infection. The sensors would be wired to an RFID chip, which would transmit the sensor data to an RFID interrogator used by a physician.

What's more, Berger says, the implant features an electric stimulator wired to the RFID chip. In response to instructions from the reader, the stimulator can generate 20 to 40 microamps of electricity. The electric current passes through the bone in which the implant is attached, to promote healing.


Varghese Paul 2008-03-31 10:30:46 PM
RFID for a healthy healing The future of human healing now joins hand with the innovations of RFID technology..hats off to every brain behind it....

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