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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1641: Implementation of 3D Printing Technology in the Field of Prosthetics: Past, Present, and Future

10 May 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1641: Implementation of 3D Printing Technology in the Field of Prosthetics: Past, Present, and Future

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16091641

Authors:
Albert Manero
Peter Smith
John Sparkman
Matt Dombrowski
Dominique Courbin
Anna Kester
Isaac Womack
Albert Chi

There is an interesting and long history of prostheses designed for those with upper-limb difference, and yet issues still persist that have not yet been solved. Prosthesis needs for children are particularly complex, due in part to their growth rates. Access to a device can have a significant impact on a child’s psychosocial development. Often, devices supporting both cosmetic form and user function are not accessible to children due to high costs, insurance policies, medical availability, and their perceived durability and complexity of control. These challenges have encouraged a grassroots effort globally to offer a viable solution for the millions of people living with limb difference around the world. The innovative application of 3D printing for customizable and user-specific hardware has led to open-source Do It Yourself “DIY” production of assistive devices, having an incredible impact globally for families with little recourse. This paper examines new research and development of prostheses by the maker community and nonprofit organizations, as well as a novel case study exploring the development of technology and the training methods available. These design efforts are discussed further in the context of the medical regulatory framework in the United States and highlight new associated clinical studies designed to measure the quality of life impact of such devices.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health