INTEGRATE stands for an initiative that concentrates in 4 related scientific doctoral projects on prosthetics as one of the most important health topics in Ethiopia. Ethiopian amputees cannot currently buy sufficient prosthetic solutions on the local orthopaedic market. Even the financially stronger growing middle class cannot be treated properly with local solutions because all components are imported and can therefore not be maintained in Ethiopia.
The overall goal of the project is to develop components for a transfemoral exoprosthesis during a frugal innovation process using modern software solutions and manufacturing technologies that solve the restrictions for a long-term successful solution. Particularly the combination of the challenging conditions of local manufacturability and robustness of the whole system for the use in a developing country with a significant biomechanical improvement of the currently used solution from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will be targeted.
The fundament for the overall development will be a structured analysis regarding the requirements, local patient related circumstances and available materials and technologies for the production by a doctoral researcher from AAU in combination with a conception for a quality assurance system to fulfil the regulatory affairs. Taking that into account a doctoral researcher quantifies first the differences between the currently used solution and a high-end solution with a gait lab analysis and develops afterwards a parametric optimised design, with a focus on the prosthetic foot and material selection. A second TUM doctoral researcher optimises that parametric design using a co-simulation between Simpack and Matlab via Simulink, to define a final version that minimises asymmetries during the gait cycle and the metabolic work for the patient. The second doctoral researcher from AAU will transfer that optimised version into a locally producible solution taking into account the supply chain for the materials, the moulding process and production costs.