Design, Control, and Biomechanics of Prosthetic Limbs

A special issue of Prosthesis (ISSN 2673-1592).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (24 June 2023) | Viewed by 12644

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 56127 Pisa, Italy
Interests: prosthetic control for upper limb amputees; semi-autonomous prostheses; embedded systems and electronics design; bioelectric signal acquisition and processing; bone-anchored prostheses and osseointegration

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Guest Editor
Department of Orthopedics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
Interests: prosthetic control for upper limb amputees; sensory feedback; psychophysics; evaluation of prosthetic use; human motor control; bone-anchored prostheses and osseointegration

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Guest Editor
Motor Controls in Human and Robotic Systems Laboratory, Weizmann Institute of Science, Herzl St 234, Rehovot, Israel
Interests: prosthetic limb and exoskeleton design; controls for upper and lower limb prosthetics and exoskeletons; semi-autonomous prostheses; computer vision for intent recognition; sensor fusion; human motor control; gait and grasping biomechanics; biosignal processing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you are well. We are sending this email to inform you of a new Special Issue in Prosthesis titled "Design, Control, and Biomechanics of Prosthetic Limbs". The issue aims to promote and disseminate studies pertaining to prosthetic limbs, an area of rapidly-growing research importance and potential impact for people living with limb differences and limb loss.

We are pleased to invite you to contribute a paper to this special issue dedicated to cutting-edge and translational research on upper and lower limb prosthetic devices. Although the core focus of this special issue is on electrically powered devices, research related to other prosthetic technologies (e.g., body-powered prostheses) will also be considered for inclusion.

This special issue aims to support advancements in a field that has historically encountered serious challenges in successfully translating research into clinical practice. Therefore, demonstration of the translation potential of the proposed research will be especially appreciated by our editorial team.

In this issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Neuroprostheses
  • Robotic arm and leg design and control
  • Intent recognition and intuitive control strategies
  • Shared control and semi-autonomous prostheses
  • Functional assessment
  • Biomechanical analyses of grasping and walking actions
  • Sensory feedback restoration
  • User-in-the-loop myoelectric signals processing (pattern recognition, regression, state machines, deep learning, etc)
  • Prosthetic user perception and clinical preferences
  • Home-use and out-of-the-Lab assessments

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Enzo Mastinu
Dr. Eric J. Earley
Dr. Nili Krausz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Prosthesis is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • prosthetics
  • neuroprostheses
  • biomechanics
  • intuitive control
  • sensory feedback
  • robotics
  • myoelectric
  • user perception
  • functional assessment
  • home-use

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 6915 KiB  
Article
Biomechanical Analysis of Recreational Cycling with Unilateral Transtibial Prostheses
by Heloísa Seratiuk Flores, Wen Liang Yeoh, Ping Yeap Loh, Kosuke Morinaga and Satoshi Muraki
Prosthesis 2023, 5(3), 733-751; https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis5030052 - 10 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2690
Abstract
Leg prostheses specially adapted for cycling in patients with transtibial amputation can be advantageous for recreational practice; however, their required features are not fully understood. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the efficiency of unilateral cycling with a transtibial prosthesis and the characteristics of [...] Read more.
Leg prostheses specially adapted for cycling in patients with transtibial amputation can be advantageous for recreational practice; however, their required features are not fully understood. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the efficiency of unilateral cycling with a transtibial prosthesis and the characteristics of different attachment positions (middle and tip of the foot) between the prosthetic foot and the pedal. The cycling practice was performed on an ergometer at 40 W and 60 W resistance levels while participants (n = 8) wore custom-made orthoses to simulate prosthesis conditions. Using surface electromyogram, motion tracking, and power meter pedals, biomechanical data were evaluated and compared with data obtained through regular cycling. The results showed that power delivery became more asymmetrical at lower workloads for both orthosis conditions, while hip flexion and muscle activity of the knee extensor muscles in the sound leg increased. While both pedal attachment positions showed altered hip and knee joint angles for the leg wearing the orthosis, the middle of the foot attachment presented more symmetric power delivery. In conclusion, the middle of the foot attachment position presented better symmetry between the intact and amputated limbs during cycling performed for rehabilitation or recreation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Control, and Biomechanics of Prosthetic Limbs)
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14 pages, 1628 KiB  
Article
Real-Time Intent Sensing for Assistive Devices with Implications for Minimising Maintenance
by Joseph Russell and Jeroen H. M. Bergmann
Prosthesis 2023, 5(2), 453-466; https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis5020031 - 6 May 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
Intent sensing is a growing field within medical device control, with major potential applications for assistive devices, such as prosthetics. As many sensors as possible should be utilised to maximise accuracy. The availability of sensors may change over time due to changing surroundings [...] Read more.
Intent sensing is a growing field within medical device control, with major potential applications for assistive devices, such as prosthetics. As many sensors as possible should be utilised to maximise accuracy. The availability of sensors may change over time due to changing surroundings or activities, sensors failing, and electrode contact being lost. The sensor network should be dynamic and modular in nature, continuing to function even when some sensors are unavailable. The management of sensor unavailability may help to reduce the need for device maintenance, particularly in developing nations with limited availability of these services. An algorithm is proposed to classify intent using networked sensors in real time. Data are gathered using human participants wearing four surface electromyography sensors and performing a pseudo-random sequence of grasps. The relationship between time offset and prediction accuracy is investigated, with the algorithm predicting future intent actions up to half a second in advance. Sensor dropout is simulated by randomly replacing sensor readings with recorded noise. The new algorithm is compared to existing algorithms and shown to be more accurate in situations of sensor dropout, with the difference increasing as more sensors become unavailable. This suggests that when reductions in sensing capabilities are likely to occur over time, the modular method is more appropriate for control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Control, and Biomechanics of Prosthetic Limbs)
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18 pages, 3738 KiB  
Article
Testing the Use of Advanced Upper Limb Prostheses: Towards Quantifying the Movement Quality with Inertial-Magnetic Measurement Units
by Andreas W. Franzke, Morten B. Kristoffersen, Dario Farina, Corry K. van der Sluis, Raoul M. Bongers and Alessio Murgia
Prosthesis 2023, 5(1), 264-281; https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis5010020 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2759
Abstract
Background: A thorough assessment of upper limb prostheses could help facilitate their transfer from scientific developments into the daily lives of users. Ideally, routine clinical testing would include assessments of upper limb function using motion-capturing technology. This is particularly relevant for the state-of-the-art [...] Read more.
Background: A thorough assessment of upper limb prostheses could help facilitate their transfer from scientific developments into the daily lives of users. Ideally, routine clinical testing would include assessments of upper limb function using motion-capturing technology. This is particularly relevant for the state-of-the-art upper limb prostheses. Methods: We designed a test based on an activity of daily life (“tray-task”) which could be completed outside the laboratory, and developed a set of outcome measures aimed at characterizing the movement quality. For this purpose, kinematics of the thorax and the humerus were captured with an inertial–magnetic measurement unit (IMMU) motion-capture system. Six prosthesis users and ten able-bodied participants were recruited to test the feasibility of the proposed assessment procedure and to evaluate the outcome variables. Results: All participants completed the test either at home or in our lab. The prosthesis users needed more time to complete the task and showed a larger range of motion in the thoracic flexion and a smaller range of motion in the humeral elevation, compared to the able-bodied participants. Furthermore, the prosthesis users’ movements were less smooth and characterized by less stable coordination patterns between the humerus and thorax. Conclusion: A new test method and associated outcome variables have been proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Control, and Biomechanics of Prosthetic Limbs)
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15 pages, 6215 KiB  
Article
The Effect of the Poly-Articulated Prosthetic Hand on Shoulder and Trunk Compensatory Movements during Manipulation and Grasp Tasks
by Andrea Giovanni Cutti, Federico Morosato, Emanuele Gruppioni, Gregorio Teti, Lorenzo De Michieli and Cosimo Gentile
Prosthesis 2023, 5(1), 182-196; https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis5010014 - 5 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2170
Abstract
Conventional myoelectric prosthetic hands only offer a basic tri-digital pinch. Transradial amputees need to compensate for this lack of function with altered kinematics at the shoulder and trunk that might expose them to an increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries. A poly-articulated prosthetic hand [...] Read more.
Conventional myoelectric prosthetic hands only offer a basic tri-digital pinch. Transradial amputees need to compensate for this lack of function with altered kinematics at the shoulder and trunk that might expose them to an increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries. A poly-articulated prosthetic hand may reduce the physical compensatory movements and close the gap between the sound and the prosthetic side. Six male transradial amputees completed four standardized reach-and-grasp activities with their tri-digital, poly-articulated and sound side hands. Trunk, shoulder girdle, scapula and humerus kinematics were measured with an optoelectronic system. Differences between hands were analyzed in terms of the amplitude of motion, the duration of the altered kinematics over the motion cycle, peak-to-peak amplitude and time to complete the activity. An overall score was defined, which assigned three points when the kinematics of a joint angle was altered for over 41% of the motion cycle, two points between 11 ÷ 40% and one point between 1 ÷ 10%; thus, a lower score indicates less variation from normal kinematics. Despite no changes in times, tri-digital vs. sound hand scored 93 points, tri-digital vs. poly-articulated hands scored 49 and poly-articulated vs. sound hand scored 28, supporting the hypotheses of the poly-articulated hand positively affects shoulder and trunk kinematics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Control, and Biomechanics of Prosthetic Limbs)
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12 pages, 689 KiB  
Article
Quantification of the Influence of Prosthetic Ankle Stiffness on Static Balance Using Lower Limb Prosthetic Simulators
by Aude Louessard, Xavier Bonnet, Anita Catapano and Helene Pillet
Prosthesis 2022, 4(4), 636-647; https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis4040051 - 8 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
After a transtibial amputation, the prosthetic foot aims at replacing the missing ankle joint. Due to alteration of proprioception and mobility, the static balance of amputees is challenging. The stiffness of most of the usual prosthetic feet cannot adapt according to the situation. [...] Read more.
After a transtibial amputation, the prosthetic foot aims at replacing the missing ankle joint. Due to alteration of proprioception and mobility, the static balance of amputees is challenging. The stiffness of most of the usual prosthetic feet cannot adapt according to the situation. Thus, the control of the user’s balance is closely related to the ankle stiffness value. The aim of this study is to evaluate both the impact of the ankle stiffness and the visual system on static balance. In order to avoid bias relative to different levels of residual proprioception among individuals, the study has been carried out on healthy subjects wearing lower limb prosthetic simulators under each foot. This configuration could be considered as a relevant model to isolate the effect of the stiffness. Eleven subjects wearing prosthetic feet with different modules were asked to remain as static as possible both with open eyes (OE) and closed eyes (CE). The center of pressure (COP) displacements and the joint angles range of motion (ROM) were experimentally assessed. The length of the major axis of the COP 95% confidence ellipse was projected on the antero-posterior direction (AP range). Linear regression models of the AP range and joint angles ROM as a function of the situation (OE and CE) and of the normalized ankle stiffness were created. A one-way analysis of variance test was performed on the model of the AP range. Linear regression coefficients and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated between the AP range and the normalized ankle stiffness and between the joint angles ROM and the normalized ankle stiffness both in OE and CE. This study confirmed that static balance decreases when ankle stiffness decreases. The results also showed that a visual system alteration amplifies more significantly the decrease of static balance of people wearing prosthetic feet and has no significant influence on non-amputated subjects. The slope of the linear regression for the AP range according to the normalized ankle stiffness was equal to −9.86 (CI: −16.03, −3.69) with CE and −2.39 (CI: −4.94, 0.17) with OE. Both the normalized ankle stiffness and the visual system had a significant impact on the AP range (pvalue<0.05). The ankle stiffness is an interesting parameter as it has a high impact on the gait and on the static balance of the users and it must be controlled to properly design prosthetic feet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Control, and Biomechanics of Prosthetic Limbs)
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