Office for Technology Commercialization

Measuring Soft Tissue Tension during Orthopedic Surgery

Technology #20120134

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Orthopedic SurgeryTissue TensionACL Repair
Rajesh Rajamani, PhD
Professor, Mechanical Engineering, School of Sciences and Engineering
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Kalpesh Singal
External Link (
Managed By
Kevin Anderson
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-8293
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending 2013-0238257
Files and Attachments
Programmable, Self-assembly Method Term Sheet [PDF]

The Importance of Tissue Tension during Orthopedic Surgery

A device that can measure the tension placed on tissues during orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries would enhance outcomes for those procedures. During orthopedic surgery, the proper treatment of the surrounding soft tissues, not just the bone, is crucial to a successful surgery. The soft tissues are often manipulated extensively, but there are currently no methods to measure the amount of tension placed on these tissues during surgery. Current methods to measure tension forces require either a free end of the tissue or a buckle transducer which necessitates extra tissue damage. A device that measures soft tissue tension in real-time without damaging the tissue would enhance orthopedic and soft tissue surgery outcomes. Applicable surgeries include: total knee replacements, hip replacements, ACL repairs, and shoulder stabilization procedures.

Note: The Soft Tissue Tension Handheld Sensor technology has been exclusively licensed by FocusStart.

Measuring Tissue Tension with Handheld Sensor

The handheld device measures the soft tissue tension during orthopedic surgery using three separate sensors that can move independently. The device measures tissue tension and immediately displays data to notify the surgeon. The device is placed against the tissue with minimal pressure so as not to damage the tissue. The real time information provided by this device can be used to evaluate and enhance surgical outcomes in various procedures. This device may enhance outcomes for surgeries such as total knee replacements, ACL repairs, and shoulder stabilization procedures.


  • Tissue tension can be measured without damaging the tissues as is seen with buckle transducer, resulting in enhanced surgical outcomes
  • Adjustments can be made in real time to soft tissue manipulations immediately in order to provide the greatest chance for surgical success
  • Easy to use by surgeons during procedures
  • Can be used by in tighter locations without the need for extra soft tissue manipulation
  • Application in wide variety of surgeries including total knee replacements, ACL repairs, and shoulder stabilization procedures.

Phase of Development Prototype has been validated to measure tension of a string in a bench top rig.