Intelligent amputee sockets employing real time advanced photonic sensors for optimum fit and pressure relief through active control

SmartSOCKET aims at realizing an intelligent amputee socket with optimum fitting and pressure relief utilizing embedded fiber sensors for strain/shear measurement and countershear actuators for readjusting the pressure map distribution across the knee-socket interface. SmartSOCKET will be the first project addressing fiber sensing configurations in true rehabilitation and biomechanic applications, intending to exploit the advantages of real-time and high-accuracy sensing capabilities of optical fiber structures towards equipping amputee sockets with true pressure-detection and subsequently pressure-relief characteristics.

SmartSOCKET s main objectives include: a) the integration of a computational model for computer-aided socket design and manufacturing, b) the development of optical fiber-based sensors to be embedded in the socket system for providing real-time strain/shear measurements, c) the embodiment and miniaturization of the fiber-sensors and interrogation units into the amputee socket and its calibration in laboratory environment, d) the realization of a signal processing algorithm for extracting the pressure/shear distribution map along the human-machine interface and for controlling the countershear actuator for pressure readjustment prior ulcer initiation, and e) the final socket validation through extensive laboratory and clinical trials. Given its interdisciplinary and highly ambitious nature, SmartSOCKET strongly relies on the knowledge transfer between its academic and industrial partners.

SmartSOCKET will evolve upon the close collaboration between highly experienced academic personnel on cutting edge fiber technology and industrial people with knowledge of the true socket system requirements. SmartSOCKET is expected to lead to a promising technology transfer platform bringing the world of photonics confronted with true biomechanic applications whilst equipping the world of rehabilitation and knee prosthetics with a powerful fiber sensor toolkit.

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S.S.F. Safe Smart Fabric Adaptable Surfaces Ltd