University of Twente Student Theses


A soft robotic knee brace for improving stability in anterior cruciate ligament deficient patients.

Khambati, H.M (2019) A soft robotic knee brace for improving stability in anterior cruciate ligament deficient patients.

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Abstract:The ACL is one of the major stabilizing ligaments present in the synovial knee joint. It is also the most commonly injured ligament, occurring due to sudden twisting of the knee under load. The rupture of the ligament causes a loss of stability in knee allowing for increased motion of the bones. This increased motion raises the risk of knee arthritis or arthritis in the years following the injury. Reconstructive surgery is often prescribed to patients with high activity levels such as athletes, whereas patients with low activity levels generally rely only on rehabilitation provided after the injury. Both of the options though viable, do not necessarily reduce the risk of arthritis. Knee braces are often prescribed during and after rehabilitation to increase the stability of the knee joint; However, most knee braces often overlook the effect on the underlying passive structures. Evaluating the effect of these braces limits them in their design. To see the effect of these braces an MRI scan of the underlying passive structures is required to asses the strain put on them. To develop a knee brace which can allow us to see the effects put on the passive structures would need a MR compatible actuation design to compensate for the loss of stability. Pneumatic artificial muscles(PAM) are soft actuators that mimic the basic functionality of the human muscles. These actuators are made of silicon wrapped in a nylon sheath, which make them by design, MR compatible. We design and fabricate these PAMs and integrate them into a knee brace with the aim of reducing the instability caused due to an ACL rupture. The hamstring muscles group situated behind the thigh, is an important muscle group when it comes to reducing the instability caused by the ACL rupture. We design our brace to assist this muscle group. As such an EMG muscle activation study is performed during a seated hamstring curl exercise and during normal walking to check for a reduction in hamstring activation.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:02 science and culture in general
Programme:Electrical Engineering MSc (60353)
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