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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Feb 2023 - 24 Feb 2023

Clinical, Methodology, Resource

Human Studies, Medical Devices, Neurobiology

Musculoskeletal Pain

2023 Feb 17

Pain Med


Wearable nanocomposite sensor system for motion phenotyping chronic low back pain: a BACPAC Technology Research Site.


Baker SA, Billmire DA, Bilodeau RA, Emmett D, Gibbons AK, Mitchell UH, Bowden AE, Fullwood DT


Chronic low back pain (cLBP) is a prevalent and multifactorial ailment. No single treatment has been shown to dramatically improve outcomes for all cLBP patients, and current techniques of linking a patient with their most effective treatment lack validation. It has long been recognized that spinal pathology alters motion. Therefore, one potential method to identify optimal treatments is to evaluate patient movement patterns (i.e., motion-based phenotypes). Biomechanists, physical therapists, and surgeons each utilize a variety of tools and techniques to qualitatively assess movement as a critical element in their treatment paradigms. However, objectively characterizing and communicating this information is challenging due to the lack of economical, objective, and accurate clinical tools. In response to that need, we have developed a wearable array of nanocomposite stretch sensors which accurately capture the lumbar spinal kinematics, the SPINE Sense System. Data collected from this device are used to identify movement-based phenotypes and analyze correlations between spinal kinematics and patient-reported outcomes. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to describe the design and validity of the SPINE Sense System; and second, to describe the protocol and data analysis towards the application of this equipment to enhance understanding of the relationship between spinal movement patterns and patient metrics, which will facilitate the identification of optimal treatment paradigms for cLBP.