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Instalimb: Prosthesis for the Developing World

Team Members:
  • Rowan Cade
  • Rochelle Dumm
  • Ian Graham
  • Brian Jeon
  • Kevin Keenahan
  • Kevin Moon
  • German Om
  • Emily Rencsok
  • Mark Hopkins, PT
  • Lew Schon, MD


Two thousand victims, every month, are maimed by landmines worldwide and 80% of these patients are unable to receive suitable prosthetic legs. The ones fortunate enough to receive any device at all walk on poorly fit sockets that can be extremely painful. Prosthetic legs in the US and abroad are extremely expensive and, considering a patient can go through at many as 25 throughout his or her lifetime (due to limb atrophy and fit considerations), these costs can become insurmountable for patients living on less than a dollar a day.

We are developing a new system to solve these problems. We are designing a device that can be remolded to fit the patient’s changing residual limb. This reduces or eliminates the need for these costly replacement devices and could save the amputee thousands of dollars over a lifetime. In addition, we are decreasing fitting time from one week to only hours by eliminating the need for expensive and time-consuming mold making procedures. Our device can be molded directly to a patient’s limb, sized, and assembled in one visit. We are hopeful our device will be successfully implemented and will assuage the suffering of the nearly 10,000 new amputees every year who are denied access to appropriate prostheses.

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