An estimated 15 million fracture injuries occur each year in the United States, of which up to 20% result in delayed or non-union. Current methods of monitoring include taking X-rays and making clinical observations, but radiographic techniques lag and physician examination of injury is fraught with subjectivity. There is a lack of consensus in how 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.
- Michel Maharbiz
- Monica Lin