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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.

Publication Date

Spring 2021


Messiah University, Messiah College, Engineer, community, service




The work presented in this document has been provided solely for educational and edification purposes. All materials are composed by students of Messiah University and are not certified by any means. They do not constitute professional consultation and require the examination and evaluation by a certified engineer through any product development process. The contents documented are the produced work by the student design team but do not necessarily represent the as-built or as-assembled state of a complete and tested design; faculty, staff, and other professionals involved in our program may have augmented the student engineering work during implementation, which may not be recorded within this document.

Messiah University, the Collaboratory, nor any party related to the composition of this document, shall be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages, or any loss of profits or revenues, whether incurred directly or indirectly, or other intangible losses, resulting from your access to or use of the provided material; any content obtained from the provided material, or alteration of its content.

Prosthetic Knee for CURE Kenya

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