“Ultimately, we want to increase the mobility and quality of life of people with bionic limbs,” Professor Laurent Frossard from Menzies Health Institute Queensland explained.
“The Thomax 2.0 is designed to help rehabilitation work more effectively and safely by measuring the loading stress of a prosthesis on the stump of a limb in real-time.
“It integrates wearable loading sensors and personalised computational neuromusculoskeletal models for real-time animation of a digital twin of the residuum.
“It gives patient and the clinician feedback about what is actually going on inside the leg.”
Issues with bone-anchored prosthetics include implant loosening, stability loss and infection that can seriously impede daily usage of the prosthesis and quality of life.
“If the loading isn’t right, the bone doesn’t grab the metal and the implant fails to stay in their body,’’ Dr David Saxby from the School of Health Sciences and Social Work said.
“Then they are likely to experience other types of complications like infections, possibly give it up and return to a socket or they are going to have other types of complication.”
For Caroline Graydon, who lost her leg in a motorcycle accident in 2018, the ability to wear a bone-anchored prosthetic has been life-changing.
“The loading has to be gradual to give your bone time to adhere to the implant. So, the amount of weight I put through my right residual limb is equal to the weight I put through my left residual limb,’’ she said.
“Without this, I wouldn’t be able to walk.”
Professor Frossard and Dr Saxby recently won the $50,000 mobility prize in the 2021 Bionic Queensland Challenge for Thomax 2.0.
Bionics Queensland Chief Executive Robyn Stokes said the challenge had attracted the nation’s most talented scientists, engineers, clinicians and students who are redefining the future of healthcare.
“The judges felt Griffith’s innovation would really change the end game when it comes to the wearability of these devices,’’ she said.
The research teams’ aim is to equip rehabilitation specialists with a device like the Thomax 2.0 enabling them to make tailored differential diagnosis of implant stability.Jump to next article