JACIII Vol.21 No.1 pp. 74-78
doi: 10.20965/jaciii.2017.p0074

Short Paper:

A Pilot Study of a Tactile Measurement System Using Lateral Skin Stretch on Foot Plantar Surface

Shuichi Ino*, Manabu Chikai*, Emi Ozawa**, Tadasuke Ohnishi**, and Tetsumi Honda***

*Human Informatics Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
Central 6, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8566, Japan

**Showa Inan General Hospital
3230 Akaho, Komagane, Nagano 399-4117, Japan
***Hanno Seiwa Hospital
137-2 Shimokaji, Hanno, Saitama 357-0016, Japan

June 16, 2016
September 5, 2016
Online released:
January 20, 2017
January 20, 2017
tactile sense, lateral skin stretch, foot, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, healthcare technology

The purpose of this study is to develop smart equipment to quantify plantar tactile sensibility for early diagnosis and tracking of peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes mellitus. In this paper, we present new testing equipment composed of a plantar tactile stimulation platform with a moving contactor to stretch the skin tangentially, a response switch for each tactile stimulus, a motor control box, and a personal computer for psychophysical data processing. This testing equipment offers more precise measurements and is easy to use compared to conventional testing tools such as von Frey monofilaments, pin-prick testing devices, and current perception threshold testers. Using our testing equipment, we showed that the plantar tactile threshold for the tangential stretching stimulus on the first metatarsal head of the feet ranges from approximately 10 to 60 μm for subjects without diabetic foot problems. Meanwhile, the plantar tactile threshold of some subjects suspected of having diminished protective sensation by the Semmens-Weinstein monofilament testing is approximately 100 μm or more. These preliminary results suggest that our testing equipment based on the plantar sensation elicited by lateral stretching of skin has the potential for quantitative diagnosis in subjects suspected of suffering from neuropathy, and for monitoring changes over time to sustain quality of life.

  1. [1] IDF Diabetes Atlas committee, IDF Diabetes Atlas, 7th Edition, Brussels, Belgium, Int. Diabetes Federation, 2015.
  2. [2] N. Yoshimura, S. Muraki, H. Oka, A. Mabuchi, Y. En-Yo, M. Yoshida, A. Saika, H. Yoshida, T. Suzuki, S. Yamamoto, H. Ishibashi, H. Kawaguchi, K. Nakamura, and T. Akune, “Prevalence of knee osteoarthritis, lumbar spondylosis, and osteoporosis in Japanese men and women: the research on osteoarthritis/osteoporosis against disability study,” J. of Bone and Mineral Metabolism, Vol.27, No.5, pp. 620-628, 2009.
  3. [3] R. R. Rubin and M. Peyrot, “Quality of Life and Diabetes,” Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, Vol.15, pp. 205-218, 1999.
  4. [4] S. Ino, M. Chikai, N. Takahashi, T. Ohnishi, K. Doi, and K. Nunokawa, “A Pilot Study of a Plantar Sensory Evaluation System for Early Screening of Diabetic Neuropathy in a Weight-bearing Position,” Proc. of the 36th Annual Int. Conf. of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 3508-3511, 2014.
  5. [5] S. Ino, T. Izumi, M. Takahashi, and T. Ifukube, “A psychophysical study on tactile sense produced by grasping for hand with sensory feedback,” Systems and Computers in Japan, Vol.24, pp. 89-97, 1993.
  6. [6] N. Kamei, K. Yamane, S. Nakanishi, Y. Yamashita, T. Tamura, K. Ohshita, H. Watanabe, R. Fujikawa, M. Okubo, and N. Kohno, “Effectiveness of Semmes-Weinstein monofilament examination for diabetic peripheral neuropathy screening,” J. of Diabetes and Its Complications, Vol.19, pp. 47-53, 2005.
  7. [7] M. Pare, H. Carnahan, and A. M. Smith, “Magnitude estimation of tangential force applied to the fingerpad,” Experimental Brain Research, Vol.142, pp. 342-348, 2002.
  8. [8] M. Sato, N. Takahashi, S. Yoshimura, K. Yamashita, C. Wada, S. Ino, A. Higuchi, T. Fukui, and T. Hirano, “A new device for foot sensory examination employing auto-presentation of shear force stimuli against the skin,” J. of Biomechanical Science and Engineering, Vol.10, No.2, pp. 1-11, 2015.
  9. [9] North Coast Medical, Inc., Touch-TestTM Sensory Evaluator, REV12749I_0611, CA, UAS, 2011.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, IE9,10,11, Opera.

Last updated on Mar. 24, 2017