2What Is It?Prosthetic Technology is used when people have lost limbs, and can regain the use by means of these artificial limbs
3Vocabulary To KnowMeasurand – physical quantity that a system measures. The accessibility is important because it could be internal, external, etc. In this case, its an external because its an electric pulse on the end of a limb. The book calls this “electrocardiogram potential.”Sensor – a sensor converts a physical measurand to an electric output. It responds to only the form of energy present in the measurand and it ignores all other kinds to prevent interference.John, Webster G. Medical Instrumentation. Danvers, MA: John Wiley and Sons, 1997.
4New technology However: Existing prosthetic arms are so clunky that many amputees do not even bother with them. By flexing a back muscle, cables and pulleys bend the arm. Flexing the bicep can close the hand.Motions are slow and limited (usually only 3 motions)However:In contrast, the new prosthetic arm, is electrically operated and has as many as 10 motions. The problem has been controlling the motions.
5So How Can Engineers Fix This? Nerves from the arm are attached to chest muscles, whose movements amplify the nerve signal. The patient can control prosthetics with only their thoughts.Sensors placed over the new locations on the chest pick up impulses from the brain and transmit them to the prosthetic arms, a process called ‘targeted muscle reinnervation’
7Cricket Car!Using stainless steel insect pins as electrodes, the cricket is attached to the circuit by using a socket. One electrode in each hind leg is used to get the signals.
8What Differences Has This Made? Aside from facilitation of these limbs, and addition of motions, the new technology has improved response time and reflexes:Flexing or rotating the wrist took about0.22 second for the amputeesvs.0.16 second for the controls.Completing a task took1.29 seconds for amputees1.08 seconds for controls.…Conventional prosthetic arms require much longer times.
9Material Improvements Materials such as carbon fiber have allowed artificial limbs to be stronger and lighter reducing the energy needed to operate the limb.Additional materials haveallowed artificial limbs tolook much more realisticMedGadget, April 27, 2007
10Biomaterials and the Construction of Prosthetics… Specific materials are important for the fabrication and creation of these limbs for two reasons: 1. Comfort of the socket 2. Strength There is no one universal material that suits all amputees. Their lifestyle and physical characteristics need to be evaluated first.
11Biomaterials and the Construction of Prosthetics… Plastic Polymer Laminates These laminates begin as a liquid and are mixed with a catalyst. This combination, which is put under vacuum pressure to make it lightweight and strong, creates a lamination. By adjusting the amount of resin in it, you can make it more flexible or more rigid. Examples: acrylic, epoxy, and polyester Benefits- designer can easily control strength and thickness Disadvantages- difficult to remold if uncomfortable
12Biomaterials and the Construction of Prosthetics… Reinforcement Textiles are fabrics used in the laminate for strength. Examples- fiberglass, nylon, dacron, carbon, kevlar Disadvantages- Some laminations (for example, carbon fiber) are thin, which means you cannot grind a relief area into the material. Carbon fiber is brittle, as opposed to materials like kevlar or fiberglass which will bend rather than break.
13Biomaterials and the Construction of Prosthetics… Lamination Process: How Its Done Basically, you need to saturate the reinforcement textiles with a plastic polymer resin and put the combination under vacuum pressure (as previously mentioned). But in more detail…
14Biomaterials and the Construction of Prosthetics… The custom designed socket is put over the residual limb and is made out of plastic laminate, but besides strength, it needs to connect the body to the artificial limb via the electrodes. Electrode dummies and screw anchors will be incorporated in the socket so that this can happen.
15Biomaterials and the Construction of Prosthetics… Then… After making a plaster cast of the limb, a polyvinyl alcohol film is applied to separate from the plastic resin. The vacuum is applied to the polyvinyl alcohol film. The aforementioned textiles are applied along with whatever is going to connect the socket and the electrical components.
16Biomaterials and the Construction of Prosthetics… There are many varieties of available materials: 1. Casting listed over 20 different types of plaster bandages. The way these bandages differed depended on how long it took for the materials to set. 2. Under the lamination subheading, there were resins ranging from flexible to firm, and even additives for the resins were listed. 3. To line and finish the prosthetics, hides and leathers (coming from skins of horse, cow, goat, etc.), padding materials, textiles, and cork was used.
17Who is Behind It All? BIOENGINEERS! An team led by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory developed the first fully integrated prosthetic arm that can be controlled naturally and allows for eight degrees of freedom. It was developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program, is a complete limb system that also includes a virtual environment used for patient training.APL is already hard at work on a second prototype that will have more than 25 degrees of freedom and the strength and speed of movement approaching the capabilities of the human limb.