Saturday, January 20, 2007

Prosthesis in the Developing World

We've all heard about the Jaipur foot project and its founders Dr Sethi and Chandra, the sculptor who made it happen. Recently I came across this link from 1989 that shows that mechanical engineers attempted an intriguing solution: using laser scanning with a CAD system to try to make fitted prostheses. This was an ambitious attempt to do the following:
(1) Develop a non-contact imaging device capable of capturing a three-dimensional topographical record of the amputees' residual limb
(2) Develop a computer software system that would allow the prosthetist to design a prosthetic socket that is biomechanically correct for production by a numerically computer controlled milling machine
(3) Develop production molding tools for the manufacture of lightweight prosthetic plastic components
(4) Field test the new lightweight all plastic system.

Read more about it here

1 comment:

gerbuzz said...

I am doing a PhD on the Jaipur Foot. We would like to bring up to standard with some of the more western designs while maintaining it's strength and low-cost.
Funnily enough, as a side project I have been asked by a local prosthetic clinic to look into new developments in moulding(as mentioned in this blog)
I have worked in Jaipur Foot fitting clinics and could not see the need for devising a CAD-CAD milling system. The method of using Plaster of Paris seems to work fine, for the cost of it. There's is another method of moulding using glass beads, plastic and a vacuum pump...this is fast, accurate, low cost and far less messy than Plater of Paris. If you would like more info on this technique, i have.
Have you ever come across a system of making an orthosis/socket (i.e. the negative mould) directly from machine?? Is this worth investigating?
If anyone would like more info on Jaipur Foot or Moulding Techniques or if you have any helpful comments please do not hesitate to contact me: