Explained: How India’s new prosthetic limb will make life easier for the specially abled

Researchers at IIT Guwahati have developed an affordable prosthetic leg that is easy on the pocket as well as suitable for Indian conditions such as uneven terrain and habits of sitting cross-legged or squatting on the toilet. Still undergoing trials, the prosthetics once ready will be available to people with disabilities for Rs 25,000, according to a report by The Indian Express . How is this new prosthetic limb different? IIT Guwahati scientists and collaborators have worked with patients for several years, with the help of funding by the Ministry of Education and the Department of Biotechnology, addressing their special needs in the new prosthetic leg. Now in the last stage of patient trials, the product should reach the market within a year, as per the Indian Express report. According to the team, prosthesis development in India faces many challenges, and highly functional mobility for amputees requires devices with advanced features, which cost a lot of money. "Market products developed with western technology ignore Indian locomotion needs, such as cross-legged sitting, deep squatting for toilet use, and exercise postures in Yoga which can be used for rehabilitation," S Kanagaraj, Professor at Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Guwahati, said. He said that difficult terrain significantly hampers the functioning of traditional ankle joints in prosthetics, and lack of dynamic balance may cause the user to fall during certain physical activities. The prosthetic is tested as per international standard and can support up to 100 kg body weight. "Reduced weight of prosthetic leg is achieved by selecting suitable polymers, aluminium alloys and stainless steel for different components," he added. Deep squat mechanism in the knee joint Kanagaraj said that the knee joint has been developed by the team with a spring-assisted deep squat mechanism, which is especially helpful in making the Indian toilet system more comfortable to use. “The knee-rotating mechanism helps cross-legged sitting, the locking mechanism helps reduce the fear of falling in patients while walking on an unknown terrain," Kanagraj said. He also said that the adjustable link length in a knee -- such as they claim to have provided in their product -- helps to have either more stability or easy flexing, depending on age and requirement of the patients. "Overall, the knee joint is designed to meet the Indian lifestyle which other products fail to fulfil," he said. The leg built by the team has a prosthesis alignment adjuster mechanism, and a feature to activate or deactivate the knee-locking mechanism by the user. The researchers conducted a gait a motion analysis to detect any abnormality in the gait pattern of the users, which was then reduced by using a different knee design. Flexible ankle joint Other affordable prosthetics options such as mechanical foot, rubber foot, or the famous Jaipur foot do not allow for a motion of the ankle beyond a bit of flexing. A rigid foot can cause hindered movement and a possible fall on uneven terrain. Even though there are such prosthetics available that offer a wide range of movements using microprocessors, they are quite expensive and high maintenance. According to The Indian Express , the joint from IIT-G is not only a little more flexible, allowing a degree of motion, but also has a design suitable for various terrain. The joint is equipped with springs in a configuration similar to the muscular structure that existed before the amputation, Kanagaraj said. “And because there is a little rotation possibility, if there is an angle, something like a ramp, the foot adjusts itself to that particular angle,” he said. The device that is in the final stages of testing will be commercially available within a year. With inputs from agencies Read all the Latest News , Trending News ,  Cricket News , Bollywood News , India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .

Top News

© 2000- Artmotion Network   Terms of Use  Help  Advertise  Add News  Feedback