New prosthetic foot to help tackle tough terrain

scientists have developed a more stable prosthetic foot which they say could make challenging terrain more manageable for people who have lost a lower

The new design has a kind of tripod foot that responds to rough terrain by actively shifting pressure between three different contact points.

“Prosthetic emulators allow us to try lots of different designs without the overhead of new hardware,” said Steven Collins, an at University in the US.

“Basically, we can try any kind of crazy design ideas we might have and see how people respond to them,” he said, without having to build each idea separately, an effort that can take months or years for each different design.

People with a amputation are five times more likely to fall in the course of a year, which may contribute to why they are also less socially engaged.

A better prosthetic limb could improve not just mobility but overall quality of life as well, according to the study published in the journal IEEE Transactions on

One area of particular interest is making prosthetic limbs that can better handle rough ground.

The solution, researchers thought, might be a tripod with a rear-facing heel and two forward-facing toes.

Outfitted with position sensors and motors, the foot could adjust its orientation to respond to varying terrain, much as someone with an intact foot could move their toes and flex their ankles to compensate while walking over rough ground.

Rather than building a prosthetic limb someone could test in the real world, the team, including graduate student and Alexandra Voloshina, instead built a basic tripod foot.

They then hooked it up to powerful off-board motors and computer systems that control how the foot responds as a user moves over all kinds of terrain.

The team can put their design focus on how the should function without having to worry about how to make the device lightweight and inexpensive at the same time.

The team reported results from work with a 60-year-old man who lost his below the knee due to diabetes.

The early results are promising — making the team hopeful they can take those results and turn them into more capable

“One of the things we are excited to do is translate what we find in the lab into lightweight and low power and therefore inexpensive devices that can be tested outside the lab,” Collins said.

“And if that goes well, we’d like to help make this a product that people can use in everyday life,” he said.

Source of the Article: business-standard.com

Video of joyful Afghan boy dancing on new prosthetic leg goes viral

Ahmad Rahman had to have his leg amputated after he was shot as a baby in Logar province

Beaming young Afghan amputee dances on new prosthetic leg – video

When Ahmad Rahman was eight months old he and his sister, Salima, were injured when fighting broke out between Afghan government forces and the Taliban in their village in Logar province. Rahman was shot in the leg, which was later amputated.

His story is one of tens of thousands in Afghanistan, of people losing limbs due to war, but a video of him testing out his new prosthetic leg has provided a moment of joy.

The footage – filmed by physiotherapist Mulkara Rahimi at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) orthopaedic clinic in Kabul – has gone viral, showing a smiling young boy dancing after being fitted with his new leg – his fourth because they need to be replaced as he grows up. It gained more than 12,000 views in the first 12 hours.

The video of Rahman was also shared on social media by the ICRC’s Roya Musawi, and has been viewed more than 980,000 times in her tweet alone.

The ICRC’s clinic has registered almost 178,000 patients with disabilities in Afghanistan, including more than 46,100 amputees, since it started logging the injuries in 1988.

More than a million people in Afghanistan suffer some form of disability, many through injuries from four decades of war.

Of the ICRC patients who have lost limbs, almost two-thirds are due to landmines, improvised explosive devices, and other war remnants.

The video has brought global attention to the centre, its director, Alberto Cairo, told the Washington Post.

Source of the Article: TheGuardian.com

3-year-old Gets New Legs, Learns To Walk For First Time

After living most of her life without legs, a 3-year-old Cuban girl took a big first step toward a normal life Monday. Doctors amputated both of Alexa Prieto’s legs when she was just 3-months-old.

Her mother had taken her to the hospital in Havana for intestinal issues, but the infant contracted gangrene and Alexa had to lose her legs to save her life. Because she was so young at the time, Alexa has never walked in her life.

After undergoing surgery last fall to prepare for the prosthetics, Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa fitted the toddler with a pair of temporary legs, allowing her to stand for the first time. It was a moment her mother Jacqueline Vidal, called “very emotional.”

“Everybody’s waiting for this moment,” Vidal said through the help of a translator. “They’ve been waiting for a long time to see her walk.”

Armando Quirantes, a Cuban-born prosthesis specialist, saw Alexa’s story on television and decided to sponsor the little girl, bringing her to Florida for treatment.

“She brought her little girl to the hospital for a simple intestinal problem, and she returned with a little girl with no legs,” Quirantes said, referring to Vidal.

Dr. Bryan Sinnott, a senior prosthetist at Shriners, explained that Alexa’s temporary prosthetics are clear, allowing them to see and adjust should the toddler encounter any issues while learning how to use them.

“Because she’s a child she’s going to learn very well, very fast,” he said. “I think she’s going to do really good.”

While he called it amazing to see Alexa stand for the first time, Sinnott says watching Vidal in that moment was truly the vision.

“You watch how a mom takes in the fact her child is standing, it’s a wonderful thing,” he said. “I’m just lucky to be a part of all this.”

Contact Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics for any prosthetic or orthotic care questions or needs. We’ve been providing expert prosthetic and orthotic services in Michigan since 1955 and have grown to  22 locations, including Traverse City, Alma, Kalamazoo, Marquette, and Gaylord!

 

Source of the Article: teterop.com

The magic touch: bringing sensory feedback to brain-controlled prosthetics

Researchers at the University of Chicago are leading a project to introduce the sense of touch to the latest brain-controlled prosthetic arms. Adding sensory feedback to already-complex neuroprosthetics is a towering task, but offers the chance to radically transform the lives of amputees and people living with paralysis.The future of prosthetics

Source of the Article: medicaldevice-network.com

Logan students spend year building special prosthetic leg

A group of Logan High School students spent the entire year creating a prosthetic limb, which simultaneously charges while the person walks.

The InvenTeam talked with members in the industry, who told stories of patients not being able to enjoy long trips outdoors for fear of losing power.

Logan teacher Steve Johnston said the class provides a unique opportunity.

“I try to always emphasize with the kids that we want to give them a unique engineering experience,” Johnston said. “We also want to make sure the item can help people in everyday life.”

The project faced several obstacles that the students had to overcome, including starting from scratch.

“We can’t test this on a human subject,” Johnston said. “We had to spend more time creating a tester to simulate the heel strike and foot motion to harvest energy from it.”

A bluetooth device in the leg allows a user to view the power remaining on their cellphone. The battery is charged by a person’s heel striking the ground.

A pair of engineers were brought in during the year to help students with the project.

The group will now give a presentation on their invention at the EurekaFest at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), as well as tour the area.

Source of the Article: wizmnews.com

Project Circleg uses recycled plastic to build low-cost prosthetics in Kenya

Circleg recycled plastic prosthetic leg

Two Zurich-based graduates have created a low cost lower-limb prosthetic made of recycled plastic waste that is collected and processed in local factories in Kenya.      Project Circleg was founded by industrial design undergraduates Fabian Engel and Simon Oschwald at Zurich University of the Arts in March 2018 as a degree project.     The two designers wanted to find a way to help the millions of people in less developed countries who need a prosthesis because of traffic accidents, poor medical care or armed conflict.Circleg recycled plastic prosthetic leg

Most prosthetic limbs that are currently available tend to be lacking in functionality or are unaffordable to many who need them. Without access to them, many individuals are confined to their homes, are dependent on others for help and live fairly excluded lives.Circleg recycled plastic prosthetic leg

Alongside this need for prosthetic limbs, Oschwald and Engel wanted to address the issue of plastic pollution in less developed countries, where it is particularly high due to lack of recycling resources.                                                                                                             “As industrial designers, we see plastic waste as a valuable resource for meaningful products. So we came up with the idea to combine the topics of plastic pollution with the high demand for low-cost prosthetics in developing countries,” said Engel.

They chose to use this post-consumer plastic to fabricate the Circleg, reducing the material cost by half and utilising locally available plastic waste for production. The recycled plastic is reinforced with glass fibre to increase the stability.Circleg recycled plastic prosthetic leg

Oschwald and Engel went on a trip to Kenya during the prototyping phase to research the current recycling processes and to observe the lifestyle requirements of their potential users.

“This user-centred approach enabled us to integrate the needs and requirements of those affected into the design process,” said the designers. “Subsequently, we designed and developed a prosthetic solution tailored to the Kenyan context.”

Source of the Article: Dezeen.com

Prosthetic leg for Amputees designed by Jae-Hyun An to encourage new genre of ballet

Source of the Article: Dezeen.com
Prosthetic ballet leg for amputees encourages new genre of dancePratt Institute graduate Jae-Hyun An has created a prosthetic leg that allows amputees to perform ballet like never before. Unlike regular artificial limbs, which are designed to mimic the human body, the Marie-T enables amputee ballet dancers to enhance their performance. Made up of three components, Marie-T features a weighty foam-injected rotational moulded foot, with a stainless-steel toe and rubber grip that help provide the dancer with balance and momentum during rotations.

In mainstream ballet, dancers typically move in and out of the pointe position – when all body weight is supported by the tips of fully extended feet within pointe shoes. However, because of the immense strain on the foot and ankle of a performer, it is impossible for a ballet dancer to constantly perform in this position. Jae-Hyun An, who studied on the Pratt’s Industrial Design programme, designed the carbon-fibre Marie-T to enable amputees to dance on pointe throughout a performance.Jae-Hyun An designs prosthetic leg for ballet called Marie-T

New York-based An said the design, which is named after 19th-century Swedish ballet dancer Marie Taglioni, could encourage amputees to develop a new choreography that has never been achieved by mainstream ballerinas. “I wanted to explore what would happen if you could allow a person to perform on pointe 100 per cent of the time,” said An, who developed Marie-T over the course of four months. “How would ballet change? I wanted to create a tool for someone to take and let their imagination define the capabilities of the product.”

Prosthetic ballet leg for amputees encourages new genre of dance

During research, An realised that a weak ankle can twist and cause a ballerina in pointe position to wobble. In response, An designed a strong and stable ankle area that helps the ballerina stay in balance. The ankle connects to a slightly curved carbon-fibre limb which helps absorb the shock from the impact of the ballet dancer stepping forward. The limb is topped by a 3D-printed socket with steel round head screws. Ill-fitting prosthetic limbs can cause blisters and rashes on dancers, so An designed the Marie-T so that the parts can be easily switched out when they become well worn or need to be resized. The designer told Dezeen: “Prosthetics by itself is such a powerful and inspirational design. Any form of it is really amazing! Whether it is Hugh Herr’s bionic legs from the Biomechatronics Group in MIT, or the Flex-Foot Cheetah Leg from Ossur, or even a peg leg from… whenever.”

“It is inspiring because the technology is incredible but even more so because of the immense struggle an amputee has to overcome to use these products. Some argue that some of these prostheses give amputees a certain advantage in specific tasks, but I am not sure they would say the same if they ever saw how much training and care it takes to handle a prosthesis,” he continued.

“In my research I came across Viktoria Modesta and she re-interpreted performance with her prosthetics. It was visually so powerful and opened a completely new area of prosthetics for me. I fell in love with the idea of designing something that could expand the artistic and cultural scene of a community with prosthetic users.”

Prosthetic ballet leg for amputees encourages new genre of dance

A prosthetic that restores the sense of where your hand is

Source: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Summary: Researchers have developed a next-generation bionic hand that allows amputees to regain their proprioception. The results of the study are the culmination of ten years of robotics research.

The next-generation bionic hand, developed by researchers from EPFL, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and the A. Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome, enables amputees to regain a very subtle, close-to-natural sense of touch. The scientists managed to reproduce the feeling of proprioception, which is our brain’s capacity to instantly and accurately sense the position of our limbs during and after movement — even in the dark or with our eyes closed.

The new device allows patients to reach out for an object on a table and to ascertain an item’s consistency, shape, position and size without having to look at it. The prosthesis has been successfully tested on several patients and works by stimulating the nerves in the amputee’s stump. The nerves can then provide sensory feedback to the patients in real time — almost like they do in a natural hand.

The findings have been published in the journal Science Robotics. They are the result of ten years of scientific research coordinated by Silvestro Micera, a professor of bioengineering at EPFL and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, and Paolo Maria Rossini, director of neuroscience at the A. Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome.

Sensory feedback

Current myoelectric prostheses allow amputees to regain voluntary motor control of their artificial limb by exploiting residual muscle function in the forearm. However, the lack of any sensory feedback means that patients have to rely heavily on visual cues. This can prevent them from feeling that their artificial limb is part of their body and make it more unnatural to use.

Recently, a number of research groups have managed to provide tactile feedback in amputees, leading to improved function and prosthesis embodiment. But this latest study has taken things one step further.

“Our study shows that sensory substitution based on intraneural stimulation can deliver both position feedback and tactile feedback simultaneously and in real time,” explains Micera. “The brain has no problem combining this information, and patients can process both types in real time with excellent results.”

Intraneural stimulation re-establishes the flow of external information using electric pulses sent by electrodes inserted directly into the amputee’s stump. Patients then have to undergo training to gradually learn how to translate those pulses into proprioceptive and tactile sensations.

This technique enabled two amputees to regain high proprioceptive acuity, with results comparable to those obtained in healthy subjects. The simultaneous delivery of position information and tactile feedback allowed the two amputees to determine the size and shape of four objects with a high level of accuracy (75.5%).

“These results show that amputees can effectively process tactile and position information received simultaneously via intraneural stimulation,” says Edoardo D’Anna, EPFL researcher and lead author of the study.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Edoardo D’Anna, Giacomo Valle, Alberto Mazzoni, Ivo Strauss, Francesco Iberite, Jérémy Patton, Francesco M. Petrini, Stanisa Raspopovic, Giuseppe Granata, Riccardo Di Iorio, Marco Controzzi, Christian Cipriani, Thomas Stieglitz, Paolo M. Rossini, Silvestro Micera. A closed-loop hand prosthesis with simultaneous intraneural tactile and position feedback. Science Robotics, 2019; 4 (27): eaau8892 DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aau8892
Source of the Article: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. “A prosthetic that restores the sense of where your hand is.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190221110357.htm>.

Bath boy campaigns to recycle prosthetic legs

An 11-year-old amputee is championing a charity’s campaign to recycle children’s prosthetic legs.

Euan Murray, from Bath, was born with a birth defect that meant his left leg had to be amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old.

He realised his outgrown legs could benefit others and has donated 10 old prosthetic legs through Legs4Africa.

“I feel proud because I was once wearing these and I’m giving them to people that really need them,” he said.

“The prosthetic leg enables me to do everything I’m passionate for, which is mainly sport.

“If I didn’t have a leg and I was still an amputee, I would be a very different person because I would be stuck in a wheelchair and I would miss out on a lot.”

Euan playing a drum kit at homeCREATED BY TEN
Euan’s mum found out about the charity on social media and he immediately wanted to donate his old legs

Tom Williams, founder of the Bristol-based charity, said Euan was doing “a fantastic thing”.

“I never fail to be full of admiration for the little ones who accept their new leg as part of their life and don’t allow it to define who they are,” he said.

“There is a huge demand for components to build children’s prosthetics in Africa.”

The charity collects and recycles prosthetic limbs sourced from UK hospitals and private donors and then ships them to Africa where they are adapted and fitted by trained technicians at partnering hospitals.

One of Euan’s legs has been given to Wudeh, a seven-year-old girl in The Gambia whose leg was amputated following a car accident.

Euan and his family have seen pictures of Wudeh on Facebook wearing his old leg which he said was “really amazing”.

Euan issued a direct message to Wudeh, saying: “I hope this leg enables you to do everything it helped me to do and it brings you happiness in your life.”

Wudeh with one of Euan's old prosthetic legsCREATED BY TEN
Wudeh now has one of Euan’s old prosthetic legs
source of the Article: BBC.co.uk

Solar-powered synthetic skin could give robots a sense of touch and allow amputees to feel again

Synthetic skin capable of touch sensitivity could make smart prosthetic hands more useful for amputees