Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Cost-Effective Prosthetic Ankle

Today Los Estudiantes Americanos de Honduras presented their prosthetic ankle, designed to be implemented by the Orthotics & Prosthetics Lab run by CAMO in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras. The following video is an amputee's feedback on the ankle.

This device is property of CAMO, and we are in the process of applying for a patent. There is still much work to do before introducing it into the market.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Class Project with Impact

I have been working with Dr James Tunnell at the University of Texas at Austin to develop a project for his class of 40 students. The goal of this project is to give the students an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of the Chorti people while learning engineering design techniques. Click on the following link to download the project description presented to the students during the 2nd half of the course "World Health and Biotechnology."

Dr. James Tunnell


Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

http://www.bme.utexas.edu/faculty/Tunnell.cfm
Dr Tunnell teaches the BME course entitled "World Health and Biotechnology." His interest in presenting his class with a project that could have significance in the lives of others prompted the development of what I call here "Class Projects with Impact."

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Estudiantes Americanos de Honduras

In October 2006, Ashley, Lena, John, and Kevin chose the design of prosthetic limbs for Central Americans as their senior design project. Since then, they have identified the ankle joint as an avenue of potential benefit to amputees in the region serviced by CAMO. Because CAMO has developed a very successful laboratory in western Honduras, the students decided to design a universal ankle joint that could easily be adapted to the products already provided by the non-profit organization. The ankle will provide added utility to those working on the mountainous landscape who cannot afford an articulating foot. Their final design will be presented on April 24th, so be looking for the video online during the last week of this month!

Ashley Agan


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Ashley is one of 4 design students from the '06-'07 Team who identified the need for a universal prosthetic ankle joint and developed the first working prototype. Her main contribution as team leader is project management.

Lena Dixit


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Lena is one of 4 design students from the '06-'07 Team who identified the need for a universal prosthetic ankle joint and developed the first working prototype. Her main contribution is force analysis and ankle reponse.

John Eakin


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
John is one of 4 design students from the '06-'07 Team who identified the need for a universal prosthetic ankle joint and developed the first working prototype. His main contribution is solid modeling and finite element analysis.

Kevin Ma


Senior
Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
Kevin is one of 4 design students from the '06-'07 Team who identified the need for a universal prosthetic ankle joint and developed the first working prototype. His main contribution is material selection.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Medical Situation in Western Honduras

Another video created from footage that two of the undergraduate students I am mentoring took during their visit to the Copan Region of Honduras in January 2007. The purpose of this video is to show the medical situation in the health clinics and public hospitals in western Honduras. It is composed of interviews and video footage.

Living Conditions in Western Honduras

I created this video from footage that two of the undergraduate students I am mentoring took during their visit to the Copan Region of Honduras in January 2007. It is comprised of 3 interviews with nationals and missionaries in the region and depicts the hard living conditions of those living in the rural regions of the country.

Friday, April 6, 2007

REED: An Introduction

Today I gave the name "Rural Enhancement through Education and Design" to a dream that has been simmering inside of me since the summer of 2006. A graduate engineering student, I had the unique opportunity to get clinical experience in prosthetics at Jackson's UMMC and Honduras' CAMO. From my experience came some hopes for my future in academics:
  • To partner with an O&P Lab or PT clinic, so that students can volunteer for at least a semester in a clinical setting before embarking on their biomechanics research
  • To develop a joint research program in a developing country, where graduate students will have the privilage to work with doctors and medical aids to provide solutions to health needs in developing nations, especially to those living in rural areas
I am already involved in two projects that developed from my travels to Honduras:
  • Prosthetic Ankle Design: A team of 4 students have identified the need of an ankle joint to improve the functionality of donated prosthetic legs for amputees in the mountainous country. Their articulating ankle will be manufactured onsite in Honduras, be fully customizable based on patient needs, and be able to withstand the harsh rural environment
  • Class Projects with Impact: I have been working with a professor of a biomedical engineering introductory class to design a class project that will support health and health education in rural Honduras. The project is integrated into 6 basic steps of engineering design and the best design solutions will be implemented by professionals working in the region.

I like the word REED for this endeavor, because although a reed is weak, it is a bearer of seeds. I do not expect my dreams to produce a large organization; rather, I hope pieces of my dreams will find soil in others and grow.

Jessica Kruidhof


Graduate Student
Mechanical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
I am working towards my PhD in Biomechanics. My career goal is to become a professor in my field and pursue research & development of orthotics & prosthetics. I also hope to continue leading students in the pursuit of their engineering design goals and to develop educational material along various levels of Biomedical Engineering. I serve as developer of REED and am available for contact.