May 4, 2009

Artificial Legs

The picture is a twenty dollar prosthetic knee joint, developed by Stanford’s JaipurKnee Project team, during prototype testing last August. The knee joint was on display April 8, 2009 at the university.

The team studied the mechanics of high-end titanium knee joints in the US, which cost from $10,000 to $100,000. The team also surveyed the materials used to build cheap prosthetics for developing countries and designed a versatile knee joint made from an oil-filled nylon polymer. The self-lubricating joint has greater flexibility, demonstrating a much higher performance.

They fitted 43 of these joints to date in India, for field tests to improve the model. The plan is to produce 100,000 during the next few years. One more example of how healthcare does not have to be expensive.