SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Alexander Ambrose
TIME: Friday, March 31, 2023, 11:00 a.m.
PLACE: Whitaker Ford Building, BME3115
TITLE: A Smart Prosthesis Socket Liner to Address Factors That Lead to Prosthesis Abandonment
COMMITTEE: Dr. Frank Hammond, Chair (ME/BME)
Dr. Gregory Sawicki (ME/BioSci)
Dr. Ellen Yi Chen Mazumdar (ME/AE)
Dr. Kinsey Herrin (ME)
Dr. Lewis Wheaton (BioSci)


Approximately 28% of upper extremity prosthesis users choose to not wear a prosthesis. The notorious factors leading to prosthesis rejection are discomfort, heat, medical complications, and inconvenience. These issues often stem from the prosthesis socket rather than the end-effector or manipulator, yet, there is a lack of robotics research focused on improving the human-socket interface. The research presented here focuses on developing a soft-robotic socket liner intended to improve the quality of life for transradial amputees and strives to decrease the rate of prosthesis abandonment. This smart prosthesis socket liner uses closed-loop control systems and pneumatics, with the aim of controlling the pressure at the human-socket interface, adapting fit depending on user activity, accommodating residual limb volume fluctuations, and removing heat from the residual limb. Multiple independent pneumatic chambers encompass the human-socket interface to sense and control the human-socket interface pressure and adapt to the anatomy of the residual limb autonomously. User activity, sensed by fusing surface electromyography, data from inertial measurement units, and socket loading measurements, is used to adjust the internal pressure of the pneumatic subsystem. Additionally, an active cooling subsystem is proposed to transfer the heat produced by the residual limb via a heat exchanger to the ambient air.