Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Jeffrey N. Anker

Committee Member

Stephen Creager

Committee Member

Jason D. McNeill

Committee Member

Daniel Whitehead


The goal of my dissertation research is to develop implantable sensors that attach to prosthesis prior to implantation and measures biomarkers of infection in joint fluid in order to detect, monitor, and study infection using plain radiography. Joint replacement surgeries are common procedures improving the mobility and lives of millions of people worldwide. Although the surgeries are generally successful, about 1% of prosthetic hips become infected. If the infections are not detected and treated promptly with antibiotics and surgical debridement, device removal is almost always required to treat the infections. Therefore, it’s important to detect post-surgery infections early and monitor the effect of therapies for effective treatment. The sensors developed in this report can be attached to prosthetic joints and enable analysis of synovial fluid biomarkers for local infection in vivo using plain radiography. The biomarkers of infection focused here are pH, carbon dioxide, and viscosity of synovial fluid. The pH and carbon dioxide sensors are based on a pH-responsive hydrogel, whereas the viscosity sensor is based on the velocity of a falling bead. Radiopaque markers are incorporated into the sensor to enable biochemical measurements, radiographically. The sensors can be expanded to other biomarkers of infections, as well as other disease conditions. The sensors developed provide noninvasive local chemical measurements using plain radiography which is simple, rapid, and already acquired as part of the standard of care for early detection of prosthetic joint infections.

Author ORCID Identifier




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