More than 1.6 million people in the United States are living with the loss of a limb. The majority of amputations performed in the US are lower limb amputations, with an estimated 28% at the transtibial (below-knee) level. It is expected that by the year 2050, the number of people living with limb loss will more than double, increasing the overall demand for prosthetics. As a standard prosthetic component, prosthesis users wear a socket which connects the residual limb to the artificial limb. Inadequate socket fitting leads to discomfort experienced by first time prosthetic users, which are typically the main cause of prosthetic abandonment. A custom-fit, breathable, and adjustable socket is proposed to decrease prosthetic abandonment. Collaboration across disciplines and combining the diverse technologies and expertise of medicine and engineering has substantial benefits. The gained knowledge in the described projects will apply to other areas of prosthetic. The overall goal is providing patient care advantages and positively impacting the lives of many patients and their families. Discussion will include socket design optimization to minimize material use and lattice structure designs, while keeping the integrity of the support structure of the design, and the use of continuous carbon fiber and fiberglass for reinforcement as the primary materials to provide both stability and comfort for users.
- Understand the design challenges, capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses of different designs
- Comprehend the potential and benefits of integrating AM into the prosthetic industry