WillowWood Global is excited to announce the award of a Department of Defense grant for utilizing the company’s Alpha SmartTemp® platform, to research material additives and improve the thermal properties of prosthetic socket technology.
While there is good work being performed to enhance the control and utility of prosthetic devices, one of the biggest complaints among prosthesis users is heat and sweat within the prosthetic socket. This is especially true for our service men and women who sustained an amputation because of their battlefield wounds. These individuals are generally young and active, and place high demands on their prosthesis. Their increased use and range of activities performed creates a lot of heat released from their body, which gets trapped within the prosthetic socket interface and leads to excessive perspiration. This perspiration causes discomfort, lack of confidence that the prosthesis will stay on and creates an environment that places the user at increased risk for infection and tissue injury.
WillowWood Global’s Alpha SmartTemp® Liner platform and recent recipient of the 2020 Hanger Partner Award for Innovation, was specifically designed to address these issues. By using a blend of proprietary materials with heat absorption properties, this technology allows the liner to absorb and store heat from a residual limb and delay the onset of sweat. The liner then releases the stored heat as the body cools down, stabilizing the skin temperature to keep an amputee comfortable all day. With the reduction of sweat within the liner, chafing and skin breakdown may be reduced while suspension strength of the prosthesis may be improved. The vision of this project is to develop a solution that addresses the issue of heat and perspiration within the socket using learnings from this liner without adding complexity, weight, bulk, or significant cost to the overall system.
“We are really excited that the DOD has awarded us this grant to continue building upon our Alpha SmartTemp technology platform,” said Daniel Rubin COO. “We are focused on improving limb health and achieving the best clinical outcomes for amputees. At WillowWood, our R&D team has had a tremendous track record in commercializing products through governmental and academic grants with a portfolio which is currently in excess of $6M USD.”
This work was supported by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, through the Restoring Warfighters with Neuromusculoskeletal Injuries Research Award (RESTORE) Program under Award No. W81XWH2110165. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense.
About WillowWood Global
WillowWood Global LLC., located in Mt. Sterling, Ohio, is an industry leader in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of prosthetic products, including the Alpha® family of liners. For over a century WillowWood has provided the prosthetic and orthotic community, products that the consumers find assist them in leading a functionally normal lifestyle, products that the consumers find more comfortable, and products that the consumers prefer. The company’s vision is to become the world’s leader in “leveling the playing field” between physically unchallenged people and all people who find themselves challenged due to limb loss or limb dysfunction.