Quick fitting of prosthetic sockets for above knee amputees - (QuickFit)

Lead Participant: Lusstech Limited

Abstract

"In developed countries, more than 90% of limb amputees achieve their mobility through the use of prostheses. Since the amputees will have to wear a prosthetic limb for the rest of their life, the comfort is crucial for them to regain a good quality of life. Attaching artificial limbs to the body remains clinically challenging and the conventional way to attach a prosthetic limb to the body is by means of a socket. However, many patients experience serious discomfort wearing a prosthesis because of pain, instability during walking, pressure sores or skin irritation.

The conventional design and manufacturing process for a prosthetic socket requires a patient to visit a clinic multiple times over one or more weeks. There has been an attempt to eliminate the socket by directly attaching the artificial limb to the residual bone through osseointegration. However, most (\>60%, diabetes related) patients with amputations will not be candidates for this procedure. Of the remaining people with amputations, viable candidates would be limited to those who have a transfemoral or transhumeral amputation. Therefore there is a continuing need for an improved prosthetic socket provision technique that addresses the limitations and challenges highlighted above. Socket related problems mainly emanate from the over-reliance on a skilled prosthetist to determine the load bearing capability across the stump using a ""touch and feel"" technique without quantitative measurements.

This project aims to change the subjective approach into a science-based technique so that a good-fit socket can be designed and fabricated within one day. Advanced sensors (QTSS sensor by the business lead Lusstech Ltd, with patent application PCT/GB2016/053943, WO2017103592A1) will be adapted to measure the dynamic pressure distribution between mock-up residual limbs and the socket during simulated gait tests. The data, together with biomechanics analytical models to be developed during the project, will be used to optimise the socket design. Finally a new procedure will be formulated at the end of the project. Once the project is successfully completed through laboratory validation tests, we will start clinical trials to demonstrate the new technique/procedure to the rehabilitation healthcare sector so that prosthetists will have confidence to adopt this solution in their routine practices. The main innovation of the project are:

1. New application of the revolutionary QTSS sensors in healthcare
2. New biomechanical analytical models
3. New procedure for prosthetic socket design which is a step change disrupting existing practices."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Lusstech Limited, Northallerton £308,119 £ 215,683
 

Participant

Hci Viocare Clinics UK Limited, Glasgow £100,262 £ 70,183
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Middlesbrough £25,544 £ 25,544
University of Teesside, United Kingdom £486,852 £ 486,852
Headchannel Limited, London £249,600 £ 174,720

Publications

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