Development of a Master Socket for optimised design of prosthetic socket for lower limb amputees
Duration: 3 years, February 2015 – January 2018
Abstract: In developed countries, more than 90% of limb amputees achieve their mobility through the use of prostheses. The comfort of a prosthetic limb is a key consideration for both manufacturers and service providers, as they are keen to help the prosthetic limb user – who will have to wear the prosthetic indefinitely – regain a good quality of life.
To overcome the challenges, TWI is leading a consortium of eight partners from Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the UK to develop a new technique, entitled SocketMaster. The consortium aims to integrate various micro sensors into a medical tool, which will help prosthetists achieve fast, customised design and manufacturing of prosthetic sockets for lower limb (trans-femoral and trans-tibial) amputees.
It is expected that by wearing the SocketMaster tool, comprehensive data characteristics of the patient during typical activities will be able to be measured and collected. This data will then be used to optimise the socket design to maximise the patient’s comfort. The digital 3D data of the optimised socket design will be fed into a rapid prototyping machine for fast fabrication.
At least 50 clinical trials will be carried out to validate the SocketMaster technique. It is envisaged that SocketMaster will enable same-day socket fabrication with optimised quality, and the fit and function of the prosthetic socket will be less dependent on the skills of the prosthetist.