3D Prints of Patient Spine and Rib Cage utilized by the newly developed back brace simulator

3D Prints of Patient Spine and Rib Cage utilized by the newly developed back brace simulator

There hasn’t been a whole lot of progress in the field of back braces. Their development has hit a roadblock as the looming issue of uniqueness for every patient has not been found a proper solution as yet. With each patient requiring customized braces, testing newly developed ones that can support different anatomies has not received a comprehensive platform.

Finally a resolution seems to have made its way into this field. With a torso simulator, a team of engineers at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom have successfully developed a way to help researchers design new back braces that are appropriately tuned to the requirements of varied people.

The mechanical characteristics and other ones of a male torso are imitated by the device. With the help of 3D printing and CT scans of actual patients, the spine and rib cage are obtained. The benefits that an actual patient may be able to derive are assessed by the device this way.

The torso has multiple sensors attached to it. These sensors gather data regarding extension, lateral bending and torsion, reduction of flexion and also aids in evaluating the impact of different braces qualitatively. The data from these sensors is collected by a computer simulation. One of the developers of the newly developed device, David Cheneler explained that their simulator facilitates the development of the new back braces that are optimized to constrain specific motions while at the same time enabling some other motions. Furthermore, he said that the designing of the braces can also be aided with their back braces simulator, along with supporting the targeted restriction of movement. This in turn may provide advantages in case of certain conditions along with curtailing the threat of muscle- loss.

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