Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 8, 2013
   Pages 1069 — 1078

Abstract — Methods for characterization of mechanical and electrical prosthetic vacuum pumps

Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD;1Sean Wood, MS;1 Ryan Caldwell, CP;1 Andrew Hansen, PhD;2–3 Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons)1*

1Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center, Chicago, IL; 2Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN; 3University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Abstract — Despite increasingly widespread adoption of vacuum-assisted suspension systems in prosthetic clinical practices, there remain gaps in the body of scientific knowledge guiding clinicians’ choices of existing products. In this study, we identified important pump-performance metrics and developed techniques to objectively characterize the evacuation performance of prosthetic vacuum pumps. The sensitivity of the proposed techniques was assessed by characterizing the evacuation performance of two electrical (Harmony e-Pulse [Ottobock; Duderstadt, Germany] and LimbLogic VS [Ohio Willow Wood; Mt. Sterling, Ohio]) and three mechanical (Harmony P2, Harmony HD, and Harmony P3 [Ottobock]) prosthetic pumps in bench-top testing. Five fixed volume chambers ranging from 33 cm3 (2 in.3) to 197 cm3 (12 in.3) were used to represent different air volume spaces between a prosthetic socket and a liner-clad residual limb. All measurements were obtained at a vacuum gauge pressure of 57.6 kPa (17 inHg). The proposed techniques demonstrated sensitivity to the different electrical and mechanical pumps and, to a lesser degree, to the different setting adjustments of each pump. The sensitivity was less pronounced for the mechanical pumps, and future improvements for testing of mechanical vacuum pumps were proposed. Overall, this study successfully offers techniques feasible as standards for assessing the evacuation performance of prosthetic vacuum pump devices.

Key words: electrical prosthetic pump, elevated vacuum, mechanical prosthetic pump, negative pressure, prosthetic pump, prosthetic pump performance, prosthetic vacuum, socket evacuation, vacuum assisted suspension, vacuum pump.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 8
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Komolafe O, Wood S, Caldwell R, Hansen A, Fatone S. Methods for characterization of mechanical and electrical prosthetic vacuum pumps. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(8): 1069–78.

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, December 11, 2013 9:34 AM

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