The Microstrain developed by Vermont Company is a self powered wireless sensors placed inside the replacement knee prosthetics. With a piezoelectric power generator the tiny sensors can deduce bending, twisting, compressive and shearing loads in real time. The wireless transmitter inside transmits the data outside of the body wirelessly and to a waiting data logger. The information is received by the researchers in their computer to analyze changes in gait, forces generated, status of rehabilitation, and general wear characteristics over time for the prosthesis.
As sports and sports injuries continue to change, and more dollars are associated, rehabilitation technologies like these will trickle down to sporting and other medical specific uses to benefit us all in new and interesting ways.