Developing a Better Prosthetic Foot for Amputees

Handicap International says the cost of a high-end prosthetic foot can be as much as $5,000 — a prohibitive price tag that leaves millions of amputees in the developing world moving through life on perilous, less-than-ideal artificial limbs.

Over a decade ago, the innovative founder of Niagara Prosthetics & Orthotics International, Robert Gabourie, Certified Prosthetist and Orthotist, began to imagine a better way to provide appropriate solutions to all those who had lost their lower limbs. To realize his vision, Rob teamed up with research specialists at Queen’s University, Canada, and DuPont engineers, who contributed material science and application development know-how. Together, this dedicated band of collaborators was able to engineer and produce an injection-molded, energy-return prosthetic foot that can feasibly retail for under $100. Their magic ingredient was DuPont™ Hytrel®, a flexible, robust polymer proven to withstand 3 million cycles in this application.

 

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The Science Behind Prosthetic Foot Design and Gait Cycle

This short video follows Jesús Claros, a market trader and amputee, as he takes part in exciting new field trials in his native El Salvador, conducted by the Universidad Don Bosco. His family depends on him to stay on his feet all day and to carry his wares from one point to another. See how Jesús’ adoption of the Niagara Foot is making the difference between mere subsistence and upward mobility.

Collaborators
Niagara Foot

 

  • CHALLENGE: Protection
  • INDUSTRY: Construction
  • LOCATION: El Salvador