Development of a Smart Splint to Monitor Different Parameters during the Treatment Process

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Jul 29;20(15):4207. doi: 10.3390/s20154207.


For certain musculoskeletal complex rupture injuries, the only treatment available is the use of immobilization splints. This type of treatment usually causes discomfort and certain setbacks in patients. In addition, other complications are usually generated at the vascular, muscular, or articular level. Currently, there is a really possible alternative that would solve these problems and even allows a faster and better recovery. This is possible thanks to the application of engineering on additive manufacturing techniques and the use of biocompatible materials available in the market. This study proposes the use of these materials and techniques, including sensor integration inside the splints. The main parameters considered to be studied are pressure, humidity, and temperature. These aspects are combined and analyzed to determine any kind of unexpected evolution of the treatment. This way, it will be possible to monitor some signals that would be studied to detect problems that are associated to the very initial stage of the treatment. The goal of this study is to generate a smart splint by using biomaterials and engineering techniques based on the advanced manufacturing and sensor system, for clinical purposes. The results show that the prototype of the smart splint allows to get data when it is placed over the arm of a patient. Two temperatures are read during the treatment: in contact with the skin and between skin and splint. The humidity variations due to sweat inside the splint are also read by a humidity sensor. A pressure sensor detects slight changes of pressure inside the splint. In addition, an infrared sensor has been included as a presence detector.

Keywords: additive manufacturing; biomedical sensor; health monitoring; iot; personalized medicine; smart splint.

MeSH terms

  • Arm
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Musculoskeletal System / injuries*
  • Pressure
  • Splints*
  • Temperature


  • Biocompatible Materials