Publication Date

2012-12-12

Availability

Embargoed

Embargo Period

2014-12-12

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biomedical Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense

2012-11-01

First Committee Member

Vibhor Agrawal

Second Committee Member

Robert Gailey

Third Committee Member

Jorge Bohorquez

Abstract

Gait is a complex cycle with both between and within limb variability. It should be studied carefully using justifiable and accurate measures. Unilateral lower limb amputees often favor and stress their intact limb during most of the functional activities. This can lead to secondary comorbidities or complications like degenerative arthritis, back pain that may affect the mobility and quality of life. Symmetry is an issue in the gait of amputees because of the unnatural asymmetry imposed on the biomechanical system by the prosthesis. Current gait assessment techniques monitor the symmetry of macroscopic gait parameters like stance and swing period durations. It was anticipated that the measurement of phase duration symmetry would improve the gait assessment techniques. This research project determined the phase duration symmetry of 6 healthy non-amputees and 10 unilateral lower limb transtibial amputees (TTAs). It was found that the TTAs possess greater asymmetry in some of the phase durations although the symmetry of stance and swing period durations was found normal. A wireless smart insole system was designed and developed to address these issues and to improve and expand upon current gait analysis techniques. The appropriate sensor was selected among various currently used insole sensors and the accurate location of sensors on the insole was determined. The insole was designed for both anatomical and prosthetic foot and a method to develop a standardized prosthetic foot insole was determined. The insole system was implemented with various algorithms that were able to detect the phases and calculates the phase duration symmetry real-time. Hence this research project established that gait assessment using wireless smart insole system that detects the phase duration symmetry could be an effective aid in the detection of certain temporal gait deviation in unilateral lower limb amputees.

Keywords

Gait analysis; Phase Symmetry; Prosthetic gait assessment; Lower-limb amputees; Insole system; Arduino microcontrollers

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