Project Title:
Development of Active Cooling System for Improving Residual Limb Skin Care

Summary:
The residual limb is typically covered by thermally insulative materials that can create a warm and damp socket environment. The trapped heat and perspiration can lead to potential skin irritation and infections and decrease the usability of the prosthesis. A study of nearly 100 above-knee amputees found that heat and perspiration inside the socket were reported by 72% of the survey participants as the most common cause for a reduced quality of life. Since the limb can’t cool efficiently within a standard prosthetic socket, other studies have found that even a small amount of activity can cause the socket temperature to elevate and remain at an uncomfortable level for an extended period.

To address this problem, LTI is collaborating with Vivonics, Inc. and the Minneapolis VA to develop and evaluate an active cooling system that can be integrated into the prosthetic socket. The system reduces residual limb temperatures to decrease perspiration and increase socket comfort to encourage increased prosthesis use and improve patient quality of life.

Funding:
This work is supported by the U.S. Army under contract No. W81XWH-17-C-0005. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Army.

Expected Completion Date:
Summer of 2020