The 2017 ANMS-ISPO Research Grant has been awarded to Mark Taylor, Rami Al-Dirini, Saulo Martelli, John Nisyrios and Sally Cavenett from Flinders University of South Australia. This team has received $20,000 for a year to work of a project about closing the loop for the next-generation of prosthetic socket design using biomechanical computational models.
About the project
Poor vascularity is the leading cause for lower limb amputation (LLA). Diabetes is a disease that is a contributing factor to poor vascularity, and approximately 80% of dysvascular amputations are also people diagnosed with diabetes. The size of the current and future impact of lower limb amputation (LLA), especially within the diabetic population mandates substantial work to ensure patient specific requirements are met. Current practices for designing lower limb prosthetic sockets follow a time intensive, iterative, “trial-and-error” approach, and optimizing socket fit is largely dependent on subjective feedback from the person with LLA. Additional complications from diabetes including loss of sensation and neuropathy can add to difficulties in prosthetic socket fitting and design when seeking subjective feedback relating to pressure and pain. As a result of the compromised sensation and limitations in the feedback loop between fitting and adjustments, the prosthetic wearer may experience discomfort, rubbing, chaffing, bruising and tissue damage which is unreported until visibly identified. In this project, the investigators will develop tools that provide thorough biomechanical evaluation of various prosthetic socket designs to guide clinician’s decision on the best-matched design for the individual’s residual limb condition. This is expected to reduce the risk of injury, reduce the number of visits to prosthetic facilities to obtain best-fit, and consequently improving service efficiencies and client satisfaction.
Meet the team of investigators