In order to develop prostheses in the developing world, each amputee needs a socket which can hold their residual limb in place during walking. Traditionally, they use Plaster of Paris (POP) molds that have several draw-backs, including:
- lots of personnel are needed;
- POP expands during fabrication, making for a poor final fit;
- lots of variation in wrapping pressure and direction.
To improve this, Dr. Wu, in collaboration with member of the Biomechatronics Group, proposed a method based on a sand casting method called “Vac-Cast.” The result of this method is depicted below.
This system overcomes some of the limitations of the traditional methods. Specifically, by standardizing the system by which negative molds are created, the variation in quality of the sockets is reduced, the cost of fitting an amputee is reduced, and the time necessary to create a negative mold is reduced.
For additional information check out the final project presentation from our course Developing World Prostheses: vac_sock2