Tag: 3-D printing of prosthetics

OZY Genius Award Winner Claudine Humure Designs 3-D Printed Prosthetic Socket

OZY Genius Award winner Claudine Humure (photo via blackenterprise.com)

article by Robin White Goode via blackenterprise.com

Claudine Humure, a senior at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, is one of the 10 young people awarded $10,000 as a winner of one of the OZY Genius Awards distributed by OZY, the news site.

Humure won for her innovative and compassionate 3-D printed adjustable prosthetic socket, which will be used by amputees. “This socket is much cheaper to produce on a 3-D printer,” Humure said. “It cost about $100.” Because of the low production costs, Humure expects her prosthetic socket to be affordable to amputees in developing countries.

Prosthetics now on the market are too expensive for many of them. Humure has a personal interest in prosthetics. After losing both her parents in Rwanda’s genocide, she and her six siblings were raised in an orphanage. At the age of 13, she developed cancer, which led to the amputation of her leg. She first came to the U.S. to get a prosthetic leg in 2004, after which she returned to Rwanda. Later she came back to the U.S. to study after receiving a scholarship to attend high school in Connecticut.

“I was motivated by seeing how much prosthetic limbs are really needed. Being an amputee, I know what is needed,” Humure said. A biology major who interned at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was exposed to prosthetic research, Humure graduates this May and intends to spend the rest of the year refining the socket’s design. But she also has goals for the future.

“I want to help amputees in different developing countries, not just Rwanda,” she told me. “I want to visit different countries and see what people are already doing and how I can help.”But eventually, she sees herself going home.“I want to open a prosthetic clinic in Rwanda where amputees are rehabilitated and learn from each other.”

To read more, go to: OZY Genius Award Winner Designs 3-D Printed Prosthetic Socket

Robin Roberts Presents New Series about Medical Breakthroughs

(Image: Facebook)
(Image: Facebook)

If you’re a big Robin Roberts fan and can’t get enough of the radiant personality, you can now catch her in a brand new web series. The Good Morning America host’s company Rock’n Robin Productions is teaming up with WebMD to premiere WebMD’s Future of Health with Robin Roberts. Each episode of the new digital series tells stories of “cutting-edge medical breakthroughs, inspiring individuals working to improve people’s lives, and the people that are benefiting from their efforts.”

In an official statement, Dr. Steven Zatz, President at WebMD, said “We want to create experiences that engage, inspire and motivate people, and we believe that working with great storytellers like Robin Roberts, and producing powerful video content like Future of Health, will enable us to do just that.”

Roberts leads viewers on a fascinating journey through cutting-edge research labs, playgrounds, classrooms and people’s homes as they explore the wonders of medicine and science. The series gives a front seat to the following: innovative use of 3-D printing for prosthetics and organ transplantation, a new obesity treatment that offers a much-needed alternative to highly invasive gastric surgery, transformative new technology that restores vision to the blind, a highly experimental procedure enabling women without a womb to carry and deliver babies of their own, and advances in wireless medicine that turn smartphones into life-saving devices.

Roberts said, “What’s on the medical horizon is incredible, and I hope this is just the first of many series that we will work on together.”

You can catch the five-part digital video series here.

article by Essence Gant via blackenterprise.com

How a 3-D Printed Arm Gave Hope to Daniel Omar, a 12 Year-Old Maimed in Sudan Bomb Blast

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Story via CNN: article by Mick Ebeling, founder of Not Impossible Labs and The Ebeling Group.

It’s a good thing I didn’t know exactly how dangerous a trip I was embarking on, because when I left home in October 2013 to fly to Sudan, I was scared enough. What I had committed to was, quite frankly, the most “impossible” thing I’d ever tried to accomplish.

Three months earlier, over dinner, I’d learned about a doctor in Sudan’s Nuba mountains, Dr. Tom Catena, who was treating thousands of people — many of them children — who’d had limbs blown off in the Sudanese government’s bombing raids. By coincidence, we’d just posted an article to our website about Richard Van As, an amazing inventor who created a low-cost, 3-D printed prosthetic hand. So, over a second beer, I raised the possibility — wouldn’t it be cool if we brought printers over to Sudan and made arms for these kids?

The story might have ended there — one of those plans you cook up over dinner and forget by breakfast. Really, what can one person do in the face of such widespread sorrow thousands of miles away?

But when I got home and looked up Dr. Catena, I read about one of the patients he’d treated: Daniel — a 12-year-old boy who, in attempting to protect himself from an aerial attack, wrapped his arms around a tree. The tree protected his body, but both his arms were blown off by the bomb that exploded those few meters away.

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The amputation and hospital treatment had saved his life, but when Daniel woke and realized what had happened he said he wished he would have died. It was one of the most heart-wrenching stories I’d ever read.

It was 11pm. I looked down the hallway to where my three boys were sleeping and thought, “What if it were my kid?” What if this happened to them and somebody out there could help them — and didn’t?

In that moment, I realized I couldn’t just close the computer, get a glass of water and go to bed. I had to do something.

Going to Sudan try to help thousands of people was way too daunting. There was no way I could get my head around that.  I couldn’t help the many. But I could help one.  I could help Daniel.

Crash course in 3D printing

Mind you, at the time I knew very little about 3-D printing, and even less about prosthetic arms. So I did what I always do: surround myself with smart people, shut up, and absorb their brilliance. I brought together all the experts — including the great Van As himself — to give me a crash course in 3-D printing and prosthetic arms.

Step 1: 3-D print the files.

Step 2: Soften orthoplastic in hot water, then wrap it around the patient’s limb to mold the custom-fitted, medical-grade, breathable plastic that will anchor the printed components.

Step 3: Attach the hand and the gauntlet, and thread the cabling through each digit, running it back to an attachment point behind the patient’s wrist or elbow. The motion of the wrist (up and down) or elbow (side to side) then pulls on the cabling and draws the fingers to a close. In short, the cables tense and release around a pivot point.

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