29 May 2012
GCU research into low cost personalised orthotics
Tenovus Scotland, which supports innovative medical research projects across the full spectrum of medical sciences, has awarded Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) a grant of nearly £10,000 for the development of low cost personalised orthotics for musculoskeletal disorders.
Musculoskeletal disorders which affect the joints of the lower limb are a common and highly debilitating problem with a significant effect on quality of life.
Personalised foot orthotics (FOs) are a regularly prescribed conservative intervention for a wide range of musculoskeletal problems. While these devices have been shown to be generally beneficial, the traditional processes used to design and manufacture them lead to poor reproducibility of the form of the device. This affects its performance and impedes attempts to reduce costs and standardise prescription rules. Newly developed low cost 3D printing systems may offer a solution which will allow personalised insoles to be manufactured for relatively little cost.
Research fellow Dr Scott Telfer said: “The grant allows us to develop some highly specialised equipment and protocols that will support current and future projects run by the musculoskeletal research group at GCU.” The project will run over a 12 month period.
Dr Telfer recently attended ORTHOPÄDIE + REHA-TECHNIK, the International Trade Show and World Congress for Prosthetics, Orthotics, Orthopaedic Footwear Technology, Compression Therapy and Rehabilitation Technology, with colleagues Professor Jim Woodburn and PhD student Kellie Gibson to promote the A-FOOTPRINT project and demonstrate the first prototype orthotic devices and enabling technologies developed in the project.