Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Biomedical Engineering - Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

Research Sponsor

Dr. James Keszenheimer

First Reader

Dr. Larry Noble

Second Reader

Dr. Mary Verstraete

Abstract

Leg Length Discrepancy (LLD) is a problematic ailment for children as the differences in limb lengths can lead to scoliosis, hip, knee, and ankle problems, and back pain. If LLD is untreated, the symptoms will worsen as the child matures. Today LLD is corrected by using the Ilizarov Method, which uses pins that are externally attached to the broken bone for extension over time using a fixator or by using internal plates that do not require externalization. In our project we aim to use external electrical stimulation to correct the limb discrepancies. Several companies, such as Zimmer Biomet, have created an external bone growth stimulator that uses capacitive coupled electrical stimulation to promote bone growth. However, these devices are not designed for use in children. We have designed a device that will also use capacitive coupling to electrically stimulate bone growth in children. We began by using a computational model to measure the optimal current to achieve our goal. Our device was designed to be simple, easy, and comfortable for pediatric patients. Our device consists of an integrated circuit with two portions, a power supply and an oscillator section to generate the square wave intended to deliver the voltage to the patient to stimulate growth at the epiphyseal plate. The device, meant to deliver therapy during the patient’s sleep, allows the patient to wear the device comfortably while not disrupting their everyday life, while simultaneously fixing the discrepancy.

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