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Analysis of high frequency acoustic emission signals as a new approach for assessing knee osteoarthritis
  1. J Prior1,
  2. B Mascaro2,
  3. L-K Shark2,
  4. J Stockdale3,
  5. J Selfe1,
  6. R Bury4,
  7. P Cole5,
  8. J A Goodacre6
  1. 1Faculty of Health, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
  2. 2ADSIP (Applied Digital Signal and Image Processing) Research Centre, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
  3. 3North Lancashire Teaching Primary Care Trust, Blackpool, UK
  4. 4Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool, UK
  5. 5Physical Acoustics Ltd, UK
  6. 6School of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor John Goodacre, School of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK; j.goodacre{at}

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Acoustic signal analysis offers a potential scientific basis for new, convenient, non-invasive tools to monitor the dynamic integrity of joints. The rationale is that smooth, optimally lubricated surfaces slide quietly against each other whereas rough, suboptimally lubricated surfaces move unevenly, producing acoustic signals.

To investigate this, we used wide-band piezoelectric transducers to detect sound waves with frequencies up to 400 kHz (a well-established technique for evaluating the integrity of engineering structures1) emitted during knee movement. The Joint Acoustic Analysis System (JAAS) comprises a laptop controlling a data acquisition system connected to two acoustic emission (AE) sensors and an electrogoniometer. While each AE sensor is fastened inferior to the patella of each knee and anterior to the …

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  • Funding The study was supported by Arthritis Research Campaign project, grant number: 17542.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was granted by the South Manchester NHS Local Research Ethics Committee and by the University of Central Lancashire Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.