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Smart Prosthetic Sockets

The goals of this research are to: (1) develop new, robust measurement techniques for measuring residual limb volume loss and limb deformation during use, (2) utilize the techniques with human subjects to better understand the relationship residual limb deformation during use, volume loss, pressure, and comfort, (3) improve FEA estimates of skin strain on the residual limb using direct measurements of strain from state-of-the-art digital image correlation (DIC) experiments, (4) compare these strain measurements between contemporary clinical socket shaping strategies, and (5) develop a smart prosthetic socket employing fluidic flexible matrix composite (f2mc) technology that can accommodate for volume loss of the residual limb. 

The quality of fit between a prosthetic socket and residual limb of a transtibial amputee changes over time due to volume change of the residual limb.  It has been reported that the volume of the residual limb can change between +7% and -11% over the course of a day and a volume change as small as 3% to 5% can cause difficulty and pain for the amputee.  This change in volume, and the resulting change in quality of fit, can irritate and/or damage the residual limb’s skin and soft tissue, which can lead to blisters, cysts, edema, skin irritation, and dermatitis.  This research aims to better understand the relationships between comfort, volume change, strain on the limb and develop techniques to accomodate for the volume changes.

Scanning Results
Smart Socket
Socket Testing
Limb Scanning
DIC Testing
DIC Results