An estimated 15 million fracture injuries occur each year in the United States. Of these, 10% of fractures result in delayed or non-union, with this number rising to 46% when they occur in conjunction with vascular injury. Current methods of monitoring include taking X-rays and making clinical observations. However, radiographic techniques lag and physician examination of injury is fraught with subjectivity. No standardized methods exist to assess the extent of healing that has taken place in a fracture, revealing the need for a diagnostic device that can reliably detect non-union in its early pathologic phases. Electrical impedance spectroscopy has been used to characterize different tissues, and we hypothesize that this technique can be applied to fractures to distinguish between the various types of tissue present in the clearly defined stages of healing. We are developing an objective measurement tool that utilizes impedance spectroscopy to monitor fracture healing, with the goal of providing physicians with more information that can resolve the initial stages of fracture healing. This would enable early intervention to prevent problem fractures from progressing to non-union.
Project end date: 07/20/18