July 24, 2019


Our Innovative and Life-Changing Solutions

Team Members:  Eric Bond, Sean Glenn, Bradley Harger, John Howard, Andrew McClain, Brandon Moore, Ze-Ching Ong, and, Cameron Weber

Mentor:  Chris Olsen

Faculty Advisor:  Donna Bodeau

QL+ Program Manager:  Court Allen

QL+ engineering students from Colorado School of Mines were tasked with finding a solution for a transtibial amputee to minimize the number of times his prosthetic would need to be removed for volumetric adjustment throughout the day. The goal was to produce a simple system that could be utilized within existing prosthetic sockets that could accommodate changes in the volume of the residual limb.

The team also aimed to make minimal permanent modifications to the client’s customized socket.  They followed simple design constraints, using the following parameters:

● Durable enough for >6 months assuming 10,000 steps in a day

● Must accommodate for 5 mm diameter change (±2.5mm)

● The design must allow for adjustment of up to 5% volumetric change

● The design must limit movement of limb inside the socket to ≤ 2 mm (±1 mm)

● Not adding more than 2 lbs to the existing socket

● No electronics to minimize points of failure

The design revolved around using an inflatable bladder to act as the interface to handle these volumetric changes. This would allow for the easy transference between sockets as it would be an insertable sleeve with an attached air pump. Ultimately our attempt to manufacture an airtight solution that also conformed to these requirements failed; however, with a professional manufacturing facility producing the bladder, we believe that the proposed solution would still be viable.

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