Project number: 
UA Department of Biomedical Engineering
Academic year: 
Functional braces can be highly successful in treating degenerative flatfoot. However, currently available braces are not tolerated well enough to make bracing a viable long term treatment option for most patients. Patients complain that the braces are: (1) uncomfortable, (2) don’t fit in a shoe, (3) don’t adequately correct deformity, (4) restrict motion, (5) are hot, (6) put pressure over bony prominences, (7) look ugly, and (8) are difficult to get on and off. The goal of this project is to use innovative materials and design techniques to develop a brace that improves on current designs by addressing each of these problems.

This novel brace will use state of the art materials including shape memory metal or polymers to develop a brace that is comfortable, fits well in a shoe, looks good, restores alignment to the foot and ankle, and returns the energy to the patient’s gait with every step.

The newly developed brace must not impinge on the patents of any currently available braces.

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