BRINGING AFFORDABLE CUSTOM PROSTHESIS FOR THOSE IN NEED
The world health organization (WHO) estimates there are 30 million amputees in developing countries, with 95% of them not having any access to prosthetic devices. Simply put there is a need for affordable custom prostheses. With your help we can empower those in need with the mobility needed to access a world most take for granted.
What started as a class project lead by professor Falko Kuester and PhD student Luca De Vivo in the department of Structural Engineering has now become a multidisciplinary global project that involves professors, students, engineers, practitioners, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and patients.
Through the use of our automated digital workflow, LIMBER gives Prosthetists the tools to create comfortable, functional devices at a lower cost. Prosthetic devices must be custom-made, requiring expertise, time, and expensive components, in order to deliver a comfortable device to the amputee. Our solution makes use of digital design and manufacturing to create custom, functional, and cost-effective prosthetic devices.
There are over 40 million amputees globally, with more than 185,000 Americans losing their limb every year. Amputations are caused by trauma, infections, diabetes, or other medical problems. In the United States and the world, the number of amputees is expected to rise, strongly correlated with obesity-related diabetes. For most of the world, prosthetic devices remain too expensive and uncomfortable. The custom-fit requirements of each prosthetic make it difficult to mass-produce a low-cost solution. Limited access to proper health care and medical professionals further compounds these problems. Customization, comfort, and functionality are the most essential metrics reported by prosthetists and patients and were the boundary conditions for the multidisciplinary optimization performed during this study. LIMBER seeks new design and manufacturing techniques for custom made, cost-effective and functional 3D printed transtibial prosthesis, including socket, pylon, foot, and a monocoque design. The design of the prosthesis integrates 3D imaging, modeling, and simulation techniques coupled with biomimicry. Our goal is to create a comfortable, functional, and cheap prosthesis through digital design techniques. LIMBER is advancing multidisciplinary translational research aimed at augmenting and restoring human mobility.