Working with Smart Materials to Make Prosthetic Limbs More Lifelike
Author: University of Houston : Contact: uh.edu
Synopsis and Key Points:
UH engineer receives award to pursue work with smart materials for artificial muscles, tendons which would make prosthetic limbs more lifelike.
UH engineer receives NSF CAREER Award to pursue work with smart materials - Artificial muscles, tendons would make prosthetic limbs more lifelike.
An engineer from the University of Houston has received a $500,000 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to develop artificial muscle and tendons for dexterous, compliant and affordable prostheses.
Zheng Chen, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering, said the resulting prosthetics would be more comfortable and work more efficiently than current models, which involve motorized metallic parts.
Zheng Chen, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering, has received a NSF CAREER award to develop artificial muscle and tendons - (University of Houston).
Chen, director of the Bio-inspired Robotics and Controls Lab at the UH Cullen College of Engineering, works with smart materials to devise improved prostheses. These smart materials - Chen works with dielectric elastomers - have built-in actuation and sensing capabilities, allowing them to more closely mimic human muscles.
The project involves bio-inspired design, fabricating the device and developing a mechanism to control movement of prosthetic hands, using a material which can be activated by an electrical voltage.
Chen and his colleagues have developed a prototype of artificial muscle and tendon structure. "It achieves some performance, but we need to improve the performance," he said. "It is an integrated sensor and actuator, so the person can sense objects, grasp and participate in other activities."
He will use nanotechnology to push the material to achieve the necessary performance; it then will be used to construct artificial muscle and tendons.
NSF CAREER awards are granted to promising junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars, and recipients also do educational outreach to promote a better understanding of science and technology.
In addition to his research, Chen will work with graduate and undergraduate students to train next-generation engineers to work with modeling and fabrication of devices using smart materials and structures.
Chen said he will develop a graduate-level class involving smart materials and structure. His lab also will provide an environment for undergraduate students working on senior design projects, he said.
- 1 - Prosthetics to Suit for Women's High Heel Shoes : Johns Hopkins University (2016/05/27)
- 2 - Implanted Neuroprosthesis Improves Stroke Patient Walking Ability : Wolters Kluwer Health (2016/05/31)
- 3 - Genium X3 Waterproof Bionic Leg from Ottobock : Ottobock (2014/06/18)
- 4 - 3D Printed Face Prosthesis for Eye Cancer Patients : American Academy of Ophthalmology (2014/10/20)
- 5 - Cricothyrotomy FX Prosthetic Crike : Amputees in Action Ltd (2011/06/27)
- 6 - Mike Stoneman Regains Mobility After Being Fitted with a C-Leg from Ottobock : Ottobock (2013/12/12)
- 7 - Creating Phantom Sensation in Non-amputees : Karolinska Institutet (2013/04/15)
• Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.
• Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.