Science News
from research organizations

Cheap prosthesis made from PET are light and heat sensitive

Date:
August 11, 2015
Source:
Investigación y Desarrollo
Summary:
One problem that prostheses present is that by lacking sensitivity, can become damaged when exposed to objects emitting high temperatures and consequently burn the user. To avoid this, a group of researchers was given the task of placing sensors that warn when there is a heat excess.
Share:
FULL STORY

The technological innovation is to equip the prosthesis with sensors that can identify heat and emit a warning signal to alert the user, helping to avoid damage both for the person and the device.
Credit: Image courtesy of Investigación y Desarrollo

One problem that prostheses present is that by lacking sensitivity, can become damaged when exposed to objects emitting high temperatures and consequently burn the user. To avoid this, the Protesa group was given the task of placing sensors that warn when there is a heat excess.

Another innovation for prostheses manufactured by this company is that they are mostly made of recyclable PET material, making them lighter, but with the ability to lift up to eight kilograms, said Carlos Perez Roque, project leader and student of Engineering Mechatronics at the Technological University of Mexico (UNITEC).

Perez Roque said that the technological innovation is to equip the prosthesis with sensors that can identify heat and emit a warning signal to alert the user, helping to avoid damage both for the person and the device.

"The temperature is calibrated to the human body, 35 degrees centigrade, to prevent a burn on the stump if that amount is exceeded. The sensors are distributed in the hand, stump and arm of the prosthesis are connected to a device, which communicates through vibrations" he added.

When the prosthesis receives heat, it transforms thermal energy into electricity and activates the vibration motor located on the stump. When this happens, the hand closes automatically as a reflex of protection to prevent a burn.

Protesa leader specified that current sensors are 30 mm in length, and is required to place 15 in the hand, and another 25 along the arm to give full heat sensitivity to the prosthesis. Moreover, he calculates that the price of the prosthesis ranges from two thousand dollars just for hand and wrist to 2,500 for the entire limb.

For now, Perez Roque said, there are four prototypes, which have undergone quality tests, using a special bracelet placed on the arm for mobility and sensitivity of the prosthesis to be evaluated. Furthermore, the tests are conducted with professionals certified by the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS).

The aim of Protesa is to make economic prosthesis that are accessible to people with limited resources and thus can recover their daily activities, as they were before the loss of their limb.

According to figures by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) in Mexico, more patients need a prosthesis, however, they are costly and their purchase is difficult.

Another market that Roque Perez has visualized are orthotic centers and medical institutions, where after a doctor's evaluation can be determined whether the prosthesis are suitable for the patient.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Investigación y Desarrollo. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

Investigación y Desarrollo. "Cheap prosthesis made from PET are light and heat sensitive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150811091910.htm>.
Investigación y Desarrollo. (2015, August 11). Cheap prosthesis made from PET are light and heat sensitive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150811091910.htm
Investigación y Desarrollo. "Cheap prosthesis made from PET are light and heat sensitive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150811091910.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

RELATED STORIES