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Computational Tools and Experimental Methods for the Development of Passive Prosthetic Feet / Ben Morgan

Swansea University Author: Ben Morgan

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DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.62297

Abstract

Modern prosthetic foot designs are incredibly diverse in comparison to what was o↵ered to amputees at the turn of the millennium. Powered ankles can supply natural levels of joint torque, whilst passive feet continue to optimise for kinematic goals. However, most passive feet still do not solve the...

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Published: Swansea 2022
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: EngD
Supervisor: Ransing, Rajesh S. ; Owen, Nick J.
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa62297
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Abstract: Modern prosthetic foot designs are incredibly diverse in comparison to what was o↵ered to amputees at the turn of the millennium. Powered ankles can supply natural levels of joint torque, whilst passive feet continue to optimise for kinematic goals. However, most passive feet still do not solve the issue of unhealthy loads, and an argument can be made that optimisation methods have neglected the less active and elderly amputee. This thesis creates a framework for a novel approach to prosthetic foot optimisation by focusing on the transitionary motor tasks of gait initiation and termination.An advanced FEA model has been created in ANSYS® using boundary con-ditions derived from an ISO testing standard that replicates stance phase loading. This model can output standard results found in the literature and goes beyond by parameterising the roll-over shape within the software using custom APDL code. Extensive contact exploration and an experimental study have ensured the robustness of the model. Subject force and kinematic data can be used for specific boundary conditions, which would allow for easy adaptation to the transitionary motor tasks.This FEA model has been used in the development of prosthetic experiment tool, which can exchange helical springs to assess e↵ects of small changes in sti↵-ness on gait metrics. A rigorous design methodology was employed for all compo-nents, including parametric design studies, response surface optimisation, and ISO level calculations. The design has been manufactured into a working prototype and is ready for clinical trials to determine its efficacy.The conclusion of this framework is in the development of an experimental method to collect subject data for use in the models. A pilot study uncovered reliable protocols, which were then verified with ANOVA statistics. Proportional ratios were defined as additions to metric peak analyses already found in the liter-ature. These tools are ready for deployment in full clinical trials with amputees, so that a new prosthetic optimisation pathway can be discovered for the benefit of less active or elderly amputees.
Item Description: ORCiD identifier: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6538-4568
Keywords: Prosthetic, engineering, computational, modelling, biomechanics
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering