Characterization and experimental results of a novel sensor for measuring the contact force from myenteric contractions

Benjamin S. Terry, Jonathan A. Schoen, Mark E. Rentschler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The intraluminal pressures and traction forces associated with the migrating motor complex are well understood; however, the contact forces directly exerted by the bowel wall on a solid, or near solid, bolus have not previously been measured. Quantifying contact forces is an important component to understanding the net force experienced by an in vivo robotic capsule endoscope. In this paper, we develop a novel sensor, the migrating motor complex force sensor (MFS), for measuring the contact force generated by the contracting myenteron of the small intestine. The MFS consists of a perfused manometer connected to four torus-shaped balloons custom formed of natural latex rubber and embedded with temperature and pressure sensors. Force exerted on the balloon causes sensor pressure change. In vivo, the MFS measures the magnitude and axial location of contact pressure exerted by the myenteron. The device is tested in vivo in a live porcine model on the middle small bowel. The mean total force per centimeter of axial length of intestine that occurred over a 16-min interval in vivo was 1.04 N·cm -1 in the middle region of the small intestine; the measured force is in the range of theoretical values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2195179
Pages (from-to)1971-1977
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Contact force
  • in vivo
  • migrating motor complex force sensor (MFS)
  • small intestine
  • solid bolus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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