ROBOTIC PROSTHESES, A STUDY PUBLISHED IN SCIENTIFIC REPORTS QUANTIFIES RESIDUAL LIMB VOLUME FLUCTUATIONS IN TRANSFEMORAL AMPUTATIONS THROUGH THE USE OF A 3D SCANNER

The socket is one of the most important elements in a prosthetic device because it serves as a physical interface between the prosthesis and the amputee (and its residual limb). Over time, however, the reservoir may lose its functionality due to changes in the volume of the residual limb. These volume changes can compromise the fit, comfort and functionality of the prosthesis, and cause discomfort to amputees. To overcome the problem, a study coordinated by The BioRobotics Institute of Sant’Anna School, published in Scientific Reports, analyzed the residual limb volume fluctuations in transfemoral amputees at different times of the day through the use of a 3D scanner. The collected data will represent the reference values to design a smart prosthetic socket, able to adapt to residual limb volume fluctuations and to return safe and effective mobility to the amputee person.

“The residual limb volume fluctuations and changes – says Linda Paternò, post doc at The BioRobotics Institute - can compromise the prosthesis fitting which can, in turn, cause relative socket-residual limb movements, alter the stress distribution on tissues, involve dermatological problems (e.g., ulcers, irritations, vascular occlusions, dermatitis, blisters) and pain for the user”.
Volume changes have been quantified using a 3D scanner. This tool allows to reconstruct with a non-invasive method a 3D digital model of the residual limb and thus obtain the measurement of the volume.

The study is part of the activities of the MOTU research project. The MOTU project is a collaboration between The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, the INAIL Prosthetic Center, Fondazione Don Gnocchi and Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering Guglielmo Marconi (University of Bologna).
The global goal of the project is to perform research activities to design, develop and clinically validate a novel paradigm of robotic transfemoral prosthetic systems.

Linda Paternò, Michele Ibrahimi, Elisa Rosini, Giuseppe Menfi, Vito Monaco, Emanuele Gruppioni, Leonardo Ricotti, Arianna Menciassi, www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-91647-9, Scientific Reports, June 2021