Measurement of finger joint angle using stretchable carbon nanotube strain sensor.PLoS One. 2019; 14(11):e0225164.Plos
Strain sensors capable of monitoring complex human motions are highly desirable for the development of wearable electronic devices and healthcare monitoring systems. Excellent sensitivity and a wide working range of the sensor material are important requirements for distinguishing dynamic human motion. In this study, a highly stretchable strain sensor was fabricated via inkjet printing of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) thin films on a stretchable polydimethylsiloxane substrate. The sensor was attached to the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint of the hand in 12 healthy male subjects. The subjects placed their hands next to a conventional goniometer and flexed the MCP joint to predetermined angles. A linear relationship was found between the change in the length of the strain sensor and the intended angle of the MCP joint. The fabricated thin films showed high durability during repeated cycling (1,000 cycles) and good sensitivity with a gauge factor of 2.75. This study demonstrates that the newly developed stretchable CNT strain sensor can be used for effectively measuring MCP joint angles. This sensor may also be useful for the analysis of complex and dynamic hand motions that are difficult to measure using a conventional goniometer.