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Designing a prosthetic leg suited for developing nations

Two mechanical engineering students are working to help those in developing countries get a leg up on life.

Thousands of individuals with missing limbs, sometimes the result of land mines, have no access to affordable prosthetics. BYU undergrads David Williams and Russell Dibb hope to help change this.

As president of the bioengineering club, Williams wanted a project where the club members could do research and serve others. Inspired by a prosthetic foot made in India, he decided to take the idea one step further and design a below-the-knee prosthetic leg. The new design will focus on making a product that could be manufactured with materials found in a developing nation. And they’d like to do it all at a fraction of the cost of current prosthetics.

With the club hard at work, Williams and Dibb are specifically focusing on the shock absorption aspect of the leg. The final product needs to be flexible enough for comfort, yet stiff enough to function. They are researching which material should be used. The pair is also working to make the appendage durable enough for the many roads ahead.

Writer: Patrick Perkins

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