Ankle-foot orthotics are prescribed to children with cerebral palsy, those with a brain injury before the age of five, to treat impairments to gait/posture. However, fabrication is bespoke and costly (around $500-$700), children quickly outgrow orthotics, and specialists are needed to fit them. As such, orthotics are in short usage in developing countries.

Ortho-Gro addresses these issues through a modular redesign using pre-fabricated components at different sizes and a user-friendly, streamlined fitting process. The easily-moldable thermoplastic, Aquaplast, is used to mold to the ankle where customized fit is needed. The final result is a “kit” costing less than $100, an expected lifetime of 5 years, and no particular special skills needed to fit the orthotic. Various assessments were performed on the final product, including FEA of the SolidWorks model, joint angle analysis of a user wearing the orthotic, and user surveys of the fitting process.

BE 495 Bioengineering Senior Design project

Collaborators: Andrew Biaesch, Julianna Lee, Juhanna Roberts