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Inexpensive and Seamless Orthoses by 3D Printing of Novel Biomimetic Structures and Materials

The aim of the project is to improve the efficacy/comfort and global availability of low-cost orthoses for diverse musculoskeletal and traumatic conditions through 3D printing of novel liquid crystal polymers in biomimetic structures with higher strength and stiffness, and therefore less weight than current 3D printed orthoses.

Student

Zehao Ji

Supervisor

Sebastian Pattinson 

Project Background 

Currently, 20-33% of all people suffer from a painful musculoskeletal condition such as arthritis or lower back pain. Braces/orthoses are external devices that support the limbs or spine and can significantly improve the quality of life of patients suffering from musculoskeletal diseases and traumatic conditions. However, existing braces can be heavy, uncomfortable, and ill-fitting, significantly impacting patient quality of life.

Aims of the project

The design of biomimetic structures will be in a combination of novel polymers in wave structures integrated with other strength material such as stainless steel, in an attempt to mimic the mechanics of soft tissue. Computational analysis will also be involved to prove the feasibility of design of structure in this project.

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