Design of a Low-Cost Prosthesis for Use in Developing RegionsBy Sitek, Alison J.; RESNA 26th International Annual Conference 2003,
Publication Date: 2003
Project conducted to design an inexpensive, yet effective upper extremity prosthesis that could be used in a manual labor or agricultural job for people with upper limb amputations who live in developing regions. Because of political conflicts, inaccessibility to healthcare, and an unsafe farming environment, the population of people with upper limb amputations in developing countries has been growing at an alarming rate. Owning a prosthesis can often facilitate a return to gainful employment, yet a severe lack of funds prevents most people with amputations from ever receiving one. In the fall of 2000, an interdisciplinary team composed of bioengineering and industrial design graduate students was created. The team sent surveys to prosthetists working in developing countries to gain feedback on the needs of people with amputations in those regions. In the fall of 2001, a cold molded socket fabrication method was designed and tested. Feedback on the socket was received from a person with a trans-radial amputation, a local prosthetist, and from several attendees of the 2001 American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association conference. In 2002, the terminal device and elbow component were designed using SolidWorks 2001 mechanical design software. The arm consists of either two or three main components, depending upon whether a transhumeral or trans-radial amputee will be using it: (1) a socket, (2) the elbow, and (3) the terminal device. Testing of the prototype was scheduled for spring 2003.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)