A Prosthetic Liner incorporating Shear & Pressure Sensors

Introduction Fitting prosthetic limbs for amputees is a time-consuming, tedious process that is more art than science, often requiring ten or more visits by the patient before the proper fit is achieved. Changes in the size and shape of the limb over time need to be monitored and adjustments made to ensure patient comfort and prosthetic functionality. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a flexible sensor array to measure the pressure and shear force distribution at the interface between the amputated limb and the prosthetic socket, thus allowing a higher quality fit to be obtained in a shorter time. Technology description Employing optical sensors that respond to forces in three directions, the prosthetic liner is conformable to fit between the amputated limb and the prosthetic device. The liner is formed using a biocompatible, soft polymer; no electrical connections, and only two optical connections are required. The sensor distribution maps pressure and shear over the contour of the amputated limb, allowing pressure points and force non-uniformities to be quickly identified. Business opportunity According to the American Diabetes Association, each year, 82,000 people lose their foot or leg to diabetes. Approximately 18.3% (8.6 million) of the United States population aged 6O or older have diabetes and this number is increasing at 27% per year. Military conflicts and accidents account for an additional 25,000 lower extremity amputations per year. A new technology to ensure proper fit of a prosthetic device in less time represents a business opportunity that will enhance the lives and comfort of the growing segment of the world's population who have experienced an amputation. Stage of development Prototypes have been constructed and demonstrated. Further work is underway to enhance the resolution and data visualization. Intellectual property position This technology is available for licensing. U.S. patent protection is pending.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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