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Lower limb amputations are common in sub-Saharan Africa due to the prevalence of disease and infection in communities that lack access to adequate healthcare. Our project, Prosthetic Knee, partners with the CURE International Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya. In the region surrounding our client’s facility, there is a large number of lower-extremity amputations due to various infections and diseases. While many of these amputees only require a through-knee amputation, the lack of an affordable through-knee prosthesis often forces patients to undergo a more invasive transfemoral amputation to enable them to use a cheaper above-knee prosthesis. The goal of our project is to design and manufacture a financially accessible and user-friendly prosthetic knee for knee-disarticulation patients that can be manufactured in Messiah University’s machine shop (and ultimately, at the orthopedic facility in Kijabe).
This year, the team’s work has included finalizing the prototype design, conducting finite element analysis in SOLIDWORKS to evaluate the knee’s static and fatigue strength, and beginning the process of physical manufacturing. Additionally, a damping mechanism driven by a spring-loaded system has been developed and integrated into the design after completing motion analysis and SOLIDWORKS modeling. Our future goals include manufacturing a complete metal prototype of the knee, conducting physical strength and fatigue testing on the metal prototype, and continuing iterative prototyping of the damper in preparation for physical implementation.
Messiah University, Messiah College, Engineer, community, service
Bryner, Isaiah D.; Kelchner, Sarah N.; Urich, Carter D.; Burgess, Samuel R.; Jaloszynski, Nathan E.; Moyer, Josiah D.; Sindabizera, Kay Laura; and Williams, Jamie R., "Prosthetic Knee for CURE Kenya" (2021). 2021 Collaboratory/Engineering Symposium. 5.