This device, a super suit, provides the ability to reduce back pain and stress to ensure an easier lifestyle for those suffering. Most current solutions are either unproven, unworkable or not ineffective enough to people. This wearable tech enables the ability to be incorporated within a lifestyle.
1.What is it?
An artificial muscle attachment to aid movement across joints.
The incorporation of two fabric sections made of nylon canvas, lycra, polyester and other common materials are used to make it light, comfortable and affordable.
2. Why is it important?
More than half of all adults (60-80%) will experience some lower back pain some time in their life, leading to an estimated cost of $30 billion in medical expenses. During the trials, the super suit was tested on those with constant lower back pain, consisting on mostly nurses and doctors with this problem. Therefore, this engineered suit can help improve doctors and nurses career lifestyle to help save lives without any distractions.
3. How does it work?
The fabric sections are connected by strong straps across the centre of the back, including natural rubber pieces at the lower back and glutes.
To help support the back, during movement some of the forces travel through the elastic bands instead of putting pressure on the back muscles.
- Patient wears the clothing straps over the joints in the body
- The bands contain electrical muscles which act as tendons
- The software for controlling the body suit is within the green cushioned hexagon shapes seen in the images
- movement activates the artificial muscles to come into action
- an app/ physical activation of the buttons on the suit promote movement
- electric muscles aid the wearer’s activity
4. The future
This can be adapted to help patients who suffer from:
- spinal cord injury
- muscular dystrophy
- musculoskeletal diseases
- neurological conditions affecting gait
5. Who is involved?
Ph.D. student Erik Lamers – Vanderbuilt University School of Engineering
Guest author: Jumana Alam – A Level Student