A new generation of devices to help people with joint disorders walk with ease and comfort are becoming a reality thanks to the work of GAIT, which is creating the world’s first ‘intelligent’ mechanical devices to support knee and ankle joints.
Due to end in August next year, the 36-month IST programme project is developing the most advanced leg supports designed to date, combining biomechanics with information technologies to produce more comfortable and effective devices that could benefit millions of people across Europe.
“The orthoses we are working with are apparatus that are attached to the leg to support the knees and ankles of people who have joint dysfunctions or lack muscle strength,” explains project coordinator José Luis Pons at the Instituto de Automática Industrial (IAI) in Spain. “Traditionally they [orthoses] are purely mechanical devices that provide rigidity to the leg when a patient is standing and allow it to flex when they are walking.”
Tara Morris | alfa
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In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
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