The design of a prosthetic foot unit for use in developing countries

  • Philip Connolly

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The majority of prosthetic feet used in low-income countries suffer from a limited lifespan and limited durability. The aim of this project is to design a prosthetic foot suited to use in low-income countries that incorporates both durability and a high level of function. A review of the literature was carried out which included examining the form and function of the anatomical human foot and the existing prosthetic systems used in low-income countries as well as their limitations and successes. Also reviewed were methods of assessment of a prosthetic foot. A Product Design Specification (PDS) was created to outline the requirements of a prosthetic foot for use in a low-income country based on the information detailed in the literature review. An existing design of Strathclyde foot was tested statically according to the ISO 10328 standard. The design was modified to improve performance in identified areas followed by an evaluation of layered manufacturing processes. Having identified a potential manufacturing method for prototypes testing of materials was carried out to determine the suitability of these materials for testing. Samples of the new design were tested statically according to ISO 10328. The foot design was then further modified based on the test results, confirmed by the use of FEA at which point new prototypes were made and static testing was again carried out. A comparison of the Strathclyde foot to other feet used in low-income countries took place. The second redesign of the Strathclyde foot was assessed via force plate trials by a non-amputee subject wearing prosthetic stilts. Finally, conclusions were drawn with respect to achieving the PDS and further work was recommended to improve upon the existing design and reach the requirements of the PDS. Appendix A gives details of the roll-over shape testing carried out on a range of prosthetic feet while Appendix B details the FEA work carried out to support design modification.
Date of Award1 Oct 2012
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsEPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
SupervisorAdrianus Buis (Supervisor) & Philip Rowe (Supervisor)

Cite this