For decades, implantable sensors have been used in research to provide comprehensive understanding of the biomechanics of the human musculoskeletal system. These complex sensor systems have improved our understanding of the in vivo environment by yielding in vivo measurements of force, torque, pressure, and temperature. Historically, implants have been modified to be used as vehicles for sensors and telemetry systems. Recently, microfabrication and nanofabrication technology have sufficiently evolved that wireless, passive sensor systems can be incorporated into implants or tissue with minimal or no modification to the host implant. At the same time, sensor technology costs per unit have become less expensive, providing opportunities for use in daily clinical practice. Although diagnostic implantable sensors can be used clinically without significant increases in expense or surgical time, to date, orthopaedic smart implants have been used exclusively as research tools. These implantable sensors can facilitate personalized medicine by providing exquisitely accurate in vivo data unique to each patient.
Dr. Ledet or an immediate family member serves as a paid consultant to CardioMEMS; serves as an unpaid consultant to New Millennium Spine, CVS Medical, and ReVivo Medical; and has received research or institutional support from DePuy. Dr. D'Lima or an immediate family member serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty; serves as a paid consultant to the National Institutes of Health (NIAMS and NICHD) and MAKO Surgical; serves as an unpaid consultant to Stryker, Zimmer, and Orthocyte; and has received research or institutional support from Stryker, Zimmer, Smith & Nephew, and Tornier. Dr. Westerhoff or an immediate family member has received research or institutional support from Synthes. Dr. Bergmann or an immediate family member has received research or institutional support from Zimmer. Neither of the following authors or any immediate family member has received anything of value from or owns stock in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Szivek and Ms. Wachs.
From the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (Dr. Ledet and Ms. Wachs), the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA (Dr. D'Lima), the Julius Wolff Institut, Charite University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany (Dr. Westerhoff and Dr. Bergmann), and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (Dr. Szivek).
J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2012;20: 383–392
Copyright 2012 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.