Breathable Microframe Prosthetic Interface

Reference#: P02837

Prosthetic devices have continued to evolve over time to improve the functional capabilities and aesthetic appearance of such devices. Such improvements typically require increased weight and structural rigidity, making the resultant prosthetic devices relatively uncomfortable to wear.

One type of prosthetic device that produces particular challenges in this regard is a shoulder-disarticulation-level prosthetic socket. Traditional sockets that are commonly used for such prosthetic devices include substantially full-frame and rigid sockets that cover the residual limb (and in some cases, portions of the torso as well) with rigid, non-breathable plastic or laminated resin. Such a device retains heat and moisture close to the wearer’s body. Additionally, such a device creates pressure points when certain load conditions are encountered. Thus, both sweating and discomfort occur when the conventional prosthetic socket is worn.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, in partnership with members of the DARPA Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, developed the Breathable Microframe Socket System. This socket system is designed as an upper-limb prosthetic socket for external prosthetic body attachment and prosthetic limb load transfer to the body. Current sockets cover the residual limb and often portions of the torso with rigid, non-breathable plastic. The Breathable Microframe Socket System reduces the amount of rigid non-breathable frame material by 70–80%. The system is a lighter,comfortable microframe substructure with attachment points for a breathable stretched fabric. The fabric distributes the load evenly across the torso. This Breathable Microframe Socket System can be adapted for both body-powered and myoelectric prosthetic limb devices.

Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 8,840,681 issued.

Dr. G. R. Jacobovitz
Phone: (443) 778-9899

Additional References:

Link to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office