Modifying Prosthetic Foot Parameters and Comparing Amputee-Dependent and Amputee-Independent Effects

Julian Hoch, BCIT MAKE+ Group & Barber Prosthetics Clinic

When choosing which prosthetic foot to choose for a patient, there are several factors to consider.  This randomized, double-blinded study looked at the effects of modifying prosthetic foot parameters on gait parameters.  The effects were studied by collecting both biomechanics data in a motion capture laboratory at BCIT as well as by using routine clinical data collection tools (including the 2 Minute Walk Test and G-Walk) and by gathering the participants’ subjective perception of the foot.  


M.A.S.S. Impact

Barber Prosthetics Clinic & MENRVA Research Group at SFU

In recent years, several multi-articulated hands have become commercially available, allowing for more complex function than the previous generation of hands. However, the strategies available to control electric hands remain largely unchanged and are the largest barrier to patients using these new hands to their full potential. To address this need, Barber Prosthetics Clinic has partnered with biomedical engineers and kinesiology researchers from Dr. Carlo Menon’s MENRVA Research Group at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. Our aim is to provide a more natural and intuitive control strategy for upper-limb prostheses with the Muscle Activity Sensor Strip (M.A.S.S.).  

We attended the Cybathlon competition in Zurich, Switzerland in October 2016 to showcase this technology. The main goal of the Cybathlon was to provide a platform for the development of novel assistive technologies that are useful for daily life and it was incredible to see the wide range of devices featured. The competition received worldwide media coverage from major news broadcasters, just a few of them being BBC, CNN, CBC, CTV.   Check out our blog post to learn more about this amazing experience.  

Team Website | Youtube video | Cybathlon Trailer | Twitter | Instagram | Vancouver Magazine Article


Biomechanical characteristics, patient preference and activity level with different prosthetic feet

Barber Prosthetics, with a team from BCIT, Orthocare Innovations, University of Southern Florida, UBC & Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitacion

Providing appropriate prosthetic feet to those with limb loss is a complex and subjective process influenced by professional judgment and payer guidelines. 

This was the first randomized double blind study in which prosthetic users have expressed a preference for a specific biomechanical characteristic of prosthetic feet: those with lower peak sagittal moments were preferred, and specifically preferred on slopes, stairs, uneven terrain, and during turns and maneuvering during real world use. Read the full article.