Handgrip strength is an easy measure of skeletal muscle function as well as a powerful predictor of disability, morbidity, and mortality. In order to measure grip strength, a novel fiber-optic approach is proposed and demonstrated. The strain-dependent wavelength response of fiber Bragg gratings has been utilized to obtain the strength of individual fingers. Finite-element analysis is carried out to optimize the pressure transmission from the finger to the fiber Bragg grating. The effect of stiffness of the pressurizing media, its thickness, and the effect of contact fraction are evaluated. It is found that significant enhancement in the pressure sensitivity and wavelength-tuning range is achievable by optimizing these parameters. Also the stress-induced birefringence could be reduced to an insignificant near-zero value. The device is calibrated in terms of load to convert the wavelength shift to the strength of the grip. The time-dependent wavelength fluctuation is also studied and presented.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(060.2310) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics
(060.2370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics sensors
(170.3890) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics instrumentation
Jinu Paul, Liping Zhao, and Bryan K. A. Ngoi, "Fiber-optic sensor for handgrip-strength monitoring: conception and design," Appl. Opt. 44, 3696-3704 (2005)