Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 3, 2013
   Pages 409 — 422

Abstract — Design and development of ankle-foot prosthesis with delayed release of plantarflexion

Michael Mitchell, MSc;1 Katelynn Craig, MSc;1 Peter Kyberd, PhD;1* Edmund Biden, DPhil;2 Greg Bush, CP1

1Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada; 2Mechanical Engineering and School of Graduate Studies, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Abstract — A computer-controlled mechanism that fits a standard ankle-foot prosthesis was designed to capture the absorbed energy in the ankle and delay its release until specific times in the gait cycle. This mechanism used a direct current motor to take up and hold the compression of a carbon-fiber ankle joint. Based on the timing of the contact forces between the foot and the ground, a microprocessor released the spring at preset times later in the gait cycle. This mechanism was added to a Talux prosthetic foot and was employed by a user of a conventional energy-storage ankle-foot prosthesis. His gait was recorded using a motion analysis system. Five settings: 0, 55, 65, 75, and 85 ms delay were tested on separate days, and the standard kinematic and kinetic gait data were recorded. The user reported some settings were more comfortable than others. When these preferences were tested with a randomized double-blind trial, the preferences were not consistent. A second user showed a preference for the 55 ms delay. The modifications to the device resulted in changes to the gait of the subjects, including increased cadence and kinematics of the unaffected joints and a longer, slower push from the ankle, which was noticed by both of the subjects.

Key words: ankle, artificial legs, energy-storage prostheses, intelligent control, microprocessor control, motion analysis, prosthesis, prosthetic feet, prosthetic limbs, rehabilitation.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 3
This article and any supplemental material should be cited as follows:
Mitchell M, Craig K, Kyberd P, Biden E, Bush G. Design and development of ankle-foot prosthesis with delayed release of plantarflexion. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(3): 409–22.

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