Logo Logo

Prusa, Gwendolin; Bauer, Leandra; Santos, Inês; Thorwächter, Christoph; Woiczinski, Matthias; Kistler, Manuel (2023): Strain evaluation of axially loaded collateral ligaments: a comparison of digital image correlation and strain gauges. BioMedical Engineering OnLine, 22 (1). ISSN 1475-925X

[thumbnail of s12938-023-01077-z.pdf] Published Article

The publication is available under the license Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


The response of soft tissue to loading can be obtained by strain assessment. Typically, strain can be measured using electrical resistance with strain gauges (SG), or optical sensors based on the digital image correlation (DIC), among others. These sensor systems are already established in other areas of technology. However, sensors have a limited range of applications in medical technology due to various challenges in handling human soft materials. The aim of this study was to compare directly attached foil-type SG and 3D-DIC to determine the strain of axially loaded human ligament structures. Therefore, the medial (MCL) and lateral (LCL) collateral ligaments of 18 human knee joints underwent cyclic displacement-controlled loading at a rate of 20 mm/min in two test trials. In the first trial, strain was recorded with the 3D-DIC system and the reference strain of the testing machine. In the second trial, strain was additionally measured with a directly attached SG. The results of the strain measurement with the 3D-DIC system did not differ significantly from the reference strain in the first trial. The strains assessed in the second trial between reference and SG, as well as between reference and 3D-DIC showed significant differences. This suggests that using an optical system based on the DIC with a given unrestricted view is an effective method to measure the superficial strain of human ligaments. In contrast, directly attached SGs provide only qualitative comparable results. Therefore, their scope on human ligaments is limited to the evaluation of changes under different conditions.

View Item
View Item