Document Type


Publication Date



Knee implant package prototype, Triboelectric energy harvesting, Total knee replacement, In vivo force measurement, Joint motion simulator, Biomedical sensor


Load sensing total knee replacement (TKR) implants are useful tools for monitoring prosthesis health and providing quantitative data to support patient claims of pain or instability. Powering such devices throughout the entire life of the knee replacement, however, is a challenge, and selfpowered telemetry via energy harvesting is an attractive solution. Herein, we implemented vertical contact mode triboelectric energy harvesters inside a knee implant package to generate the power required for embedded digitization and communications circuitry. The harvesters produce small-scale electric power from physiologically relevant loads transmitted through the knee. Experiments were performed on a joint motion simulator with an instrumented package prototype between the polyethylene bearing and tibial tray. The amplitude and the pattern of the power output varied with the input loadings. Under sinusoidal loading, the maximum apparent power harvested was around 7W at (50-2000)N whereas, under vertical compressive gait loading, the harvesters generated around 10W at average human knee loads of (151-1950)N and 20W when the maximum applied load was increased by 25%. Full six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) gait load / motions at 0.67Hz produced 50% less power, due to the slower loading rate. The results show the potential of developing a triboelectric energy harvesting-based, self-powered instrumented knee implant for long-term in vivo knee joint force measurement.

Publisher Attribution

© 20XX IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

DOI: 10.1109/TMECH.2021.3049327



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.