A team of engineers from the Australian Curtin University have developed the 3D-Printed Finger Orthosis, which involves the use of a motorized exoskeleton that could help patients who are recovering from hand trauma simplify their rehabilitation process. Each 3D-printed exoskeleton is customized to fit the patient’s hand perfectly, and it could minimize the risk of post-surgery complications since it protects the patient’s hand tendons. Project lead Dr. Lei Cui says that 3D-printing was “key in this innovation,” since factors like finger movements, range, and frequency can be easily adjusted by the physiotherapist. Even the small linear motors that control finger movements can be pre-programmed as well.
Dr. Cui believes that the most remarkable thing about it is its affordability, as it only costs $100 per finger. The Assisted Finger Orthosis won the recently concluded Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards, and the University will be providing assistance in commercializing the product. Dr. Cui has applied for funding from the ARC and NHMRC, and he’s also looking for possible investors.
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