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Development of a functional thumb orthosis for boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at Hankamp Rehab

Hees, N. van (2018) Development of a functional thumb orthosis for boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at Hankamp Rehab.

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Abstract:Increased live expectancy of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) patients lead to a current need for re-enabling their hand function in Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Hankamp Rehab is aiming to develop a novel active hand orthosis. The design of an active thumb orthosis module prototype was done during the internship at Hankamp Rehab. The thumb orthosis must enable performing a set of selected ADL grasps while being non-obstructive, lightweight and affordable. Experiments are done on thumb movement to solve one of the identified design conflicts. Results showed that using a simple thumb actuation principle with two cables is sufficient for actuating the thumb in ADL. Idea and concept generation is done using a TRIZ (the Theory of Solving Inventive Problems) in Synthesis I. A prototype is developed in the Synthesis II phase. The prototype consist of a Bowden cable actuation system and stiff splint. Workings of prototype are modelled and optimized on a preliminary level. The thickness and/or material properties are chosen based on de ection and maximum stresses limits. The prototype is 3D printed using an FDM and an SLS type process. Optimization of the production process is needed to be able to obtain a device that can be fully tested. The device is partly tested it showed promising results due to its shape, low volume (thickness of 3mm), low weight (below 30 grams), easy and fast donning (below 120 sec) and doffing (below 60 sec). It is found that the principle can only work if the product is custom made. Hence it is recommended to use a 3D printing type of production process. It will be a challenge to produce within an acceptable price limit. Future research on production and materials is needed to conclude on this matter. Also quantitative testing is needed in the form of strength and de ection tests as well as ADL grasp tests.
Item Type:Internship Report (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Biomedical Engineering MSc (66226)
Keywords:Hand orthosis, Thumb orthosis, Simplified thumb movement, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Bowden cables
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