A method suitable for in vivo measurement of bone strain in humans

Susan J. Hoshaw, David P Fyhrie, Y. Takano, D. B. Burr, C. Milgrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Strain gages are the gold-standard for measurement of bone strains in vivo. The use of strain gages in humans, however, is limited by the need for surgery to implant them and by the use of cyanoacrylate adhesives to bond them to bone. Cyanoacrylate adhesives are not FDA approved for implantation in humans, making it difficult to justify their use in experimental procedures. To surmount this difficulty, a method was developed to bond strain gages to bone using an approved substance: polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). The technique and the validating experiments are presented. The PMMA bonding method gave strain gage readings within an average of 0.25% (range 0-5%) of those found using cyanoacrylate bonding in a side by side comparison on cast acrylic. On bone, the PMMA bonding method produced results comparable to extensometer readings. This method of strain gage application is accurate and straightforward. It is currently being successfully used for in vivo strain measurements in both humans and animals for up to several days following gage application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-524
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Human cortical bone
  • PMMA
  • Strain gage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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