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Open Access Play Hands Protective Gloves: Technical Note on Design and Concept

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Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the leading cause of childhood motor disability, with a global incidence of 1.6 to 2.5/1,000 live births. Approximately 23% of children with CP are dependent upon assistive technologies. Some children with developmental disabilities have self-injurious behaviors such as finger biting but also have therapeutic needs. The purpose of this technical note is to describe design considerations for a protective glove and finger covering that maintains finger dexterity for children who exhibit finger and hand chewing (dermatophagia) and require therapeutic range of motion and may benefit from sensory stimulation resulting from constant contact between glove and skin. Protecting Little and Adolescent Youth (PLAY) Hands are protective gloves for children with developmental disorders such as CP who injure themselves by biting their hands due to pain or sensory issues. PLAY Hands will be cosmetically appealing gloves that provide therapeutic warmth, tactile sensory feedback, range of motion for donning/ doffing, and protection to maximize function and quality of life for families of children with developmental disorders. The technology is either a per-finger protective orthosis or an entire glove solution designed from durable 3D-printed biodegradable/bioabsorbable materials such as thermoplastics. PLAY Hands represent a series of protective hand wear interventions in the areas of self-mutilating behavior, kinematics, and sensation. They will be made available in a range of protective iterations from single- or multi-digit finger orthoses to a basic glove design to a more structurally robust and protective iteration. To improve the quality of life for patients and caregivers, they are conceptualized to be cosmetically appealing, protective, and therapeutic.

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Keywords: CEREBRAL PALSY; DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY; FINGER BITING; PHYSICAL THERAPY; REHABILITATION; SELF-MUTILATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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  • Technology and Innovation, edited and published by the National Academy of Inventors, is a forum for presenting information encompassing the entire field of applied sciences, with a focus on transformative technology and academic innovation. Regular features of T&I include commentaries contributed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in-depth profiles of Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors in every issue.

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