A Loading Device to Measure Stiffness of Fractured Bones and Monitor Healing Over Time


Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Patent: US 10674954
US Patent:  US 2021/0033507


Christian M Puttlitz
Kevin M Labus

Reference No: 18-053
Licensing Manager

Steve Foster

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a non-invasive measurement system and device in which an antenna electromagnetically couples with a patient’s implanted hardware to sense deflections of the hardware due to an applied load. This system and device utilizes displacement and load sensors to determine the stiffness of a limb. When measurements are taken over time, the system can determine whether callus stiffness is increasing and provide diagnostic monitoring of the fracture healing process during critical time points.


The direct electromagnetic coupling method developed here holds strong potential for clinical assessments and predictions of fracture healing.


Diagnostic monitoring and prediction of bone fracture healing is critical for the detection of delayed union or non-union and provides the requisite information as to whether therapeutic intervention or timely revision are warranted. A promising approach to monitor fracture healing is to measure the mechanical load-sharing between the healing callus and the implanted hardware used for internal fixation.

  • No internal sensor required (implant itself provides the signal)
  • Requires no alterations or additions to existing implants
  • Eliminates any regulatory approval hurdles
  • Cost effective
  • Orthopedic fracture healing monitoring
  • Detection of loosening orthopedic implants (e.g., joint replacements)
  • Research development