Title

Brace Yourself! Improvement in Precision and Comfort in Knee Braces

Lead Author Major

Bioengineering

Format

SOECS Senior Project Demonstration

Faculty Mentor Name

Huihui Xu

Faculty Mentor Department

Bioengineering

Abstract/Artist Statement

Knee braces today are inefficient. They lose compression over time, offer limited precision in adjustment, and are commonly not comfortable. With an athlete who has suffered knee injuries as part of our group, we know how difficult it can be to find the right brace, therefore the goal of our project is to design a brace that can be fit to the user's exact needs. Knee braces support athletes by providing tendon compression. After discussing braces with several athletes, the most common complaint was discomfort and high maintenance. A panel of sports scientists and bioengineers was created, and consulted for more information. The main reason to compress the patellar tendon is to reduce the stress placed on it during stress on the knee joint. The brace proposed in this project has several key components. Two tightening devices above and below the patella offer the user a high degree of precision. Because the two tightening devices are operated separately and are unconnected, they provide the user more flexibility of controlling local compression. A ratchet gear stop system is designed to prevent the brace from losing compression over time. A real life scale prototype of our proposed design will be implemented and tested. Volunteers will complete surveys regarding comfort and precision in adjustment in our design. Pressure sensors will be adhered to mannequin legs beneath the prototype to test compression and precision of compression. Ideally, the prototype will provide a higher degree of comfort and precision than the current market product. If successful, this tightening device could be applied to almost any medical brace designed to apply compression.

Location

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Start Date

2-5-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

2-5-2015 4:30 PM

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May 2nd, 2:30 PM May 2nd, 4:30 PM

Brace Yourself! Improvement in Precision and Comfort in Knee Braces

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Knee braces today are inefficient. They lose compression over time, offer limited precision in adjustment, and are commonly not comfortable. With an athlete who has suffered knee injuries as part of our group, we know how difficult it can be to find the right brace, therefore the goal of our project is to design a brace that can be fit to the user's exact needs. Knee braces support athletes by providing tendon compression. After discussing braces with several athletes, the most common complaint was discomfort and high maintenance. A panel of sports scientists and bioengineers was created, and consulted for more information. The main reason to compress the patellar tendon is to reduce the stress placed on it during stress on the knee joint. The brace proposed in this project has several key components. Two tightening devices above and below the patella offer the user a high degree of precision. Because the two tightening devices are operated separately and are unconnected, they provide the user more flexibility of controlling local compression. A ratchet gear stop system is designed to prevent the brace from losing compression over time. A real life scale prototype of our proposed design will be implemented and tested. Volunteers will complete surveys regarding comfort and precision in adjustment in our design. Pressure sensors will be adhered to mannequin legs beneath the prototype to test compression and precision of compression. Ideally, the prototype will provide a higher degree of comfort and precision than the current market product. If successful, this tightening device could be applied to almost any medical brace designed to apply compression.