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Open Access The Development of a Novel Lightweight Transradial Prosthetic: A Proof-of-Concept Study

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Globally, there is a limb amputation every 30 seconds. In the U.S., 185,000 people undergo amputation annually, leading to two million existing amputees in the country. There is a current need for the development of a customizable prosthetic with high compressive strength that utilizes interstitial free space to house potential critical components. The study aimed to develop a proof-of-concept press-fit design of the forearm and hand.

Prototypical designs for a transradial (below the elbow) prosthetic forearm were constructed to increase characteristic strengths while retaining high percentages of interstitial free space for customization. The scope of this research will pertain to preliminary strength testing analyses, including compression, torsional, and three-point bending tests, and retention of free space for patient point-of-care customization. Chipboard, an inexpensive composite material, was used for all experimental prototypical models due to its fast manufacturing and processing speed with rapid prototyping machines. The results show chipboard press-fit preliminary design of the 4-fin device with torsional support for the transdermal prosthetic was cabable of withstanding 348.73 lbf and had 86% free space to house potential critical components.

This research proposes proof-of-concept press-fit framework designs for lightweight transradial prosthetics. The designs retained characteristic compressive and torsional strengths while yielding up to 90% free space to house various components and increase customization via weight distribution within the device, thus further allowing individuals with disabilities to adjust to their environments.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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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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