Adaptive Sockets for Lower Limb Prosthetics
July 17, 2015
by Luke Stoneman
Part of the EPSRC Vacation Bursaries Scheme 2015
Student name: Luke Stoneman
Student degree course: Mechanical Engineering
Year of study: 4th Year
Supervisor: Dr Liudi Jiang
My chosen engineering theme is Advanced Materials, giving me versatility in terms of skills of numerous engineering disciplines and project choices. I feel I have an affinity to studying fundamental materials and manufacture methods, such that the Advanced Materials theme has been an enjoyable one. Projects I have pursued include my extra-curricular work with autonomous robotic systems, as well as my Individual project based on analysis of high performance protective coatings for the aerospace industry.
Tell us about your specific research project:
This specific project further expands my knowledge of the potential applications of material properties. In lower limb prosthetics, the greatest challenge lies at the interface between residual limb (stump) and artificial socket. A prosthetic socket is an integral part of any prosthesis and provides an essential function in tightly joining the stump to the prosthesis. Ill-fitted sockets could cause daily discomfort, reduced prosthesis usage and soft tissue injuries in the form of stump ulcers. My project focuses on material development with a view to ultimately improving comfort and stump health for lower limb amputees.
Describe any future plans regarding on-going study/postgraduate research connected to your Vacation Bursary project:
From this research, I hope to benefit from the project skills used throughout. These include conducting comprehensive literature reviews, designing relevant experimentation methods, and materials characterization within a short time scale. Practising such processes will be a strong asset leading into my 4th year Group Design Project and Advanced Materials modules. This project also allows me to apply my advanced materials knowledge thus far to prosthetic research areas, which could help improve quality of lives of amputees. Therefore, providing successful research outcomes from this project will be personally very rewarding. I foresee myself with continued interest beyond the Vacation Bursary scheme, such that I may find myself affiliated with similar future research within the university.