The Chemistry of Prosthetics

Introduction

YouTube Video

I chose to do The Chemistry of Prosthetics and how they are made and put together. I chose to do this because I have always been interested in how they were made and how they fit to the person. My life is not affected at all by a prosthetic, but I have always wondered what it was like having to live with one on a day to day basis.

Composition of ...

The Internal frame (pylon)

  • Titanium

  • Aluminum

  • Steel (Carbon & Molybdenum)

Knee Joint

  • Titanium

  • Aluminum

Socket

  • Polyoxymethylene (C2H6N2O2)

  • Polyurethane (C27H36N2O10)

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) (C2H3Cl)

Rotator

  • Titanium

Prosthetic foot

  • Plastic


Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components
  • Titanium, Ti,

  • Polyurethane, (C27H36N2O10),

  • Titanium is an element that is used in light, strong, and corrosion-resistant alloys.

  • Polyurethane is a synthetic resin in which the polymer units are linked by urethane groups, used chiefly as constituents of paints, varnishes, adhesives, and foams. It is in things like furniture, bedding, and carpet underlay.


  • The internal frame or skeleton is the main frame of the prosthetic.  It’s called the pylon. It’s made of metal rods and provides serious structural support. Pylons can be made from carbon fiber today.

  • The socket is the part of the prosthetic that connects to the stump. It pulls forces from the limb to the body, the socket has to be fitted almost perfectly to prevent irritation, damage to the skin and tissue and infection. A soft liner is then added to the interior of the socket.

  • The suspension system of the prosthetic keeps the whole thing connected to the body. It comes in many forms. Suction is used widely in the suspension mechanism.  Prosthetic limbs fit onto the limb and is held very tightly by the airtight seal.

  • Carbon Fiber is a material consisting of a strong, thin crystalline filaments of carbon and is used as a strengthening material in ceramics and resins especially.

  • Soft liners in the interior of the sockets come in many different forms. They can come as Silicone, Polyurethane and Copolymer. Each is different in their own ways. The Silicone provides very high and strong stability and good adhesion if you have soft tissue.



Chemistry's Role
Prosthetics are initially designed in a lab. The typical prosthetic device consists of a custom fitted socket, an internal structure (also called a pylon), knee cuffs and belts that attach it to the body, prosthetic socks that cushion the area of contact, and sometimes, realistic-looking skin. The internal frame or skeleton of the prosthetic are made in a warehouse. Many of the parts are man made. Prosthetics are light-weight because they are mostly made of plastic and some metals like Titanium or Aluminum and they are not mass produced to sell in stores. Many parts like the foot and pylons are factory made sent to the prosthetist, and assembled at the prosthetist facility in accordance with the patient's needs. Seeing this, prosthetics have changed a lot in the past 20 years and today we can 3D print prosthetics. The final product is all made in a factory or custom made. Chemistry is used in every part of the prosthetic has some element in it. Some elements are synthetic, for example, Polyurethane.

 


Background Research
  • Severe injury or cancerous tumor can be the cause of amputation.

  • There are 7 kinds of leg prosthetics

  • The cost of amputations vary depending on what is being amputated

  • Prosthetics are custom made and not sold at mass produce.

  • The socket is one of the most important aspects of the prosthetic, it is the part that attaches the prosthetic to the actual limb.

  • Nearly 2 million people in the United States with a limb loss.

  • 54% of amputations are caused by vascular disease.   


Resources

http://www.explainthatstuff.com/prosthetic-artificial-limbs.html

  • Modern prosthesis, artificial limb, or “limb replacement”

  • 2 kinds of leg prosthesis (trans-femoral above the knee & trans-tibial below the knee)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosthesis#Limb_prostheses

  • There are 7 kinds of leg prosthetics

  • A robotic prosthesis is used to generate objective measures of someone’s impairment and many other things.


https://www.hss.edu/newsroom_prosthetic-leg-cost-over-lifetime.asp

  • cost of amputations vary depending on what is being amputated

  • the prosthetic can cost between 5,000 & 50,000 dollars depending on how customized or upgraded it is.

https://www.amputee-coalition.org/limb-loss-resource-center/resources-filtered/resources-by-topic/limb-loss-statistics/limb-loss-statistics/

  • nearly 2 million people in the United States with a limb loss.

  • 54% of amputations are caused by vascular disease.

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/definition-amputation

  • severe injury or cancerous tumor can be the cause of amputation.

  • Can be hospitalized between 5 & 14 days, depending on the surgery


 http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15868/1/Types-of-Leg-Prosthetics.html

  • the socket is one of the most important aspects of the prosthetic, it is the part that attaches the prosthetic to the actual limb.

  • Difference between metal and plastic prosthetics.

https://broncoscholar.library.cpp.edu/bitstream/handle/10211.3/193171/MotaAnissa_LibraryResearchPaper2017.pdf?sequence=1

https://www.sharecare.com/health/physical-disabilities/parts-of-prosthetic-limbs

https://www.ottobockus.com/prosthetics/info-for-new-amputees/prosthetics-101/how-liners-work/



About the Author


Mikaela Choriki is a junior at Billings Senior High School. She enjoys playing music and learning new instruments.  She is apart of Senior Advocates for the school, along with other extra curricular activities. Mikaela likes a good book along with a good dad joke. She also likes hiking and working with little kids.








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