Sounds of the Joints: A New Biomarker for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

PI’s: Omer Inan

Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is the most common form of childhood arthritis and one of the more common chronic illnesses of childhood. Sequelae of JIA can affect patients throughout their life. Thus, there is a great need to minimize joint damage starting as early as possible. We aim to create new biomarkers for children with JIA based on sounds emitted from their joints. Ultimately, we would like to use these physiological biomarkers to enable feedback-controlled therapies (i.e., titration of care). One of the major challenges in treating JIA is the lack of available biomarkers for continuously monitoring the condition. Decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment are currently based on the patient’s reported symptoms, invasive blood tests, x-rays, expensive MRIs and response to prescribed medications. Arthritis and other autoimmune diseases are known to compromise the mechanical integrity of joints. However in pediatric patients despite the obvious presence of severe pain and edema (swelling), plain radiographic imaging might be unremarkable in part due to lack of skeletal maturity in children.

Therefore we plan to create new biomarkers for joint health by studying sounds emitted by normal and inflamed joints during movement. We will then use the characteristics of these sounds as biomarkers that the clinicians cans use to determine the current condition of the patient’s joints and disease status.


Hochman, Daniel M. and Gharehbaghi, Sevda and Whittingslow, Daniel C. and Inan, Omer T. “A Pilot Study to Assess the Reliability of Sensing Joint Acoustic Emissions of the Wrist” Sensors , v.20 , 2020

Whittingslow, Daniel C. and Orlandic, Lara and Gergely, Talia and Prahalad, Sampath and Inan, Omer T. and Abramowicz, Shelly “Acoustic emissions of the temporomandibular joint in children: proof of concept” Frontiers of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine , v.2 , 2020

Whittingslow, Daniel C. and Zia, Jonathan and Gharehbaghi, Sevda and Gergely, Talia and Ponder, Lori A. and Prahalad, Sampath and Inan, Omer T. “Knee Acoustic Emissions as a Digital Biomarker of Disease Status in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis” Frontiers in Digital Health , v.2 , 2020

Bolus, Nicholas B. and Jeong, Hyeon Ki and Whittingslow, Daniel C. and Inan, Omer T. “A Glove-Based Form Factor for Collecting Joint Acoustic Emissions: Design and Validation” Sensors , v.19 , 2019

Semiz, Beren and Hersek, Sinan and Whittingslow, Daniel C. and Ponder, Lori A. and Prahalad, Sampath and Inan, Omer T. “Using Knee Acoustical Emissions for Sensing Joint Health in Patients With Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: A Pilot Study” IEEE Sensors Journal , v.18 , 2018

D. Whittingslow, H.-K. Jeong “Acoustic Emissions Generated By the Temporomandibular Joint of Patients with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Their Implication on Patient Assessment and Screening: A Pilot Study” American College of Rheumatology ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting , 2018

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