Efficacy of Composites for Fabrication of Orthotic Calipers

Efficacy of Composites for Fabrication of Orthotic Calipers

Nisha Kumari (Birla Institute of Technology, India) and Kaushik Kumar (Birla Institute of Technology, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3023-7.ch012
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Composites based materials are becoming more important in the field of aerospace, automobile, medicine, sports, energy etc. The principal quality of composite materials is their higher strength, firmness, resistant to corrosion and comparatively low weight when compared to the metals. The main aim of the work is to replace the presently used orthotic calipers with the proposed polymeric based composites as in last few years composites have generated broad research in engineering and research field due to its smaller density, low cost, recyclable, environment friendly and capable of being decomposed. Here, the authors have proposed two polymeric based composites (thermoplast and thermoset) as an alternative material of construction and hence their various properties were investigated. The authors after performing the experiment unveil that the strength and firmness of thermoset based composites (Epoxy + Carbon) is higher and have lower weight- to- volume ratio than that of the presently used (Aluminum based) orthotic calipers.
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Millions of people worldwide are suffering from one or other disability. Disability is an impairment related to speech, vision, locomotion etc. It may be also due to the emergence of new disease or virus transmitted from one person to another. It affects not only their part but also their minds because of their ignorance in the normal society. One of the main disabilities we are here concerned with is polio or often termed as poliomyelitis. Poliomyelitis affects the motor neurons and is the main reason of paralysis and death (Gromeier and Wimmer, 1998). In 1950’s it affected lot of patients by its viral infections but thanks to the researchers/ scientist’s who discovered vaccine because of which many survived but muscle weakness and disfigured joints were the common problems being faced by the patients. Researchers came up with many ideas to make them feel comfortable with the techniques and new treatments so that they can lead their life easily and can work at least or do whatever they wish to do (Thorndike et al.,1956, Cicenia and Hoberman., 1957). Firstly the scientists invented iron lung which worked with the help of the motor. Polio affected patients were covered inside the iron lung fully and sudden expansion and contraction were supplied to the chest with the help of the motor attached to it to maintain the levels of pressure in the body. Patients were covered inside the iron lung for months and even for years as it was dependent on the type of disability of the patients so it was not known by the researchers who will take how much of time to get recovered. Due to this reason iron lung was no longer in use and was forbidden. Secondly, the researchers/scientists thought of passive immunotherapy which consisted of antibody serum which was found to be effective for 80% of the patients but it did not last long as serum duration was only for 5 months and reinjection of the serum was not known by the scientists. And then they developed two vaccines for polio infected patients in 1950 after being tested on them and then they started forwarding to affected patients. But the main problem with the vaccines was that it only restricted paralysis and death it did not help the patients in their walking cycle. Then rehabilitation therapies were started which consisted of electrotherapy and hydrotherapy and created lot of awareness among infected people but it was not possible for every affected individual to join the rehabilitation centers because it demanded a very high cost and not everyone could afford the charges for therapies. Because of the therapies and treatment processes affected children’s were unable to go to school for months and years, adults were unable to go to college and their respective jobs and a lot more problem were being faced by them because of acute poliomyelitis. Later, the researchers moved on foot orthotics which mainly included the shoes being designed by the doctor for polio affected survivors or for the patients who were suffering from foot related problems (Sethi et al., 1978, Ferber et al., 2005). After the problems with the SACH (Solid Ankle Cushion Heel) foot, vulcanized rubber foot was designed for the amputees so that they can walk properly, stand and can move without any restriction in movement. This lead to the evolution of Jaipur foot, the intervening space present inside the shoe was filled by providing anextra cushion with the help of layers of sponge rubber (Sethi, 1990).

Polio affected survivors are in need of something which would not limit their movement and it should ensure that they can walk, sit and do whatever they want without any risk of falling and fractures of disfigured joints (Genet et al., 2010). They were in need ofacomponent that is lighter in weight, affordable and aids in correct positioning of joints and weakened muscles. Scientists designed orthotic calipers which helped polio affected survivors in walking with their support (Moreno et al., 2006, Giovacchini et al., 2015, Bregman.,2011). Themain purpose of orthotic calipers (Figure 1) is to provide correct positioning and stability without restricting their movement in walking, sitting and moving from one place to another (Berwick., 1971, Rakib et al., 2015).

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