Prostheses from recycled plastic

Posted on 5 Nov 2019

Leg or arm prostheses are too expensive for developing countries. With money from an international foundation, the knowledge of a British medical research institute and an international NGO that produces prostheses, they succeeded in making cheaper prostheses from recycled plastic.

Cost-efficient, comfortable and durable prosthesis

The average price for a limb prosthesis is around 5400 €. For people in developing countries that is an unfeasible card. Scientists investigated whether there was a cheaper way to produce solid prostheses from recycled material, such as plastic. For Dr. Karthikeyan Kandan from De Montfort University in Leicester, UK, is able to tackle two major challenges right away: “Upcycling and recycling plastic and affordable prosthetics are two world challenges we need to address. We wanted to develop a cost-efficient, comfortable and durable prosthesis for amputated patients. ”

11 euros per prosthesis

There is no shortage of plastic waste. According to the United Nations, 13 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans and seas every year. The base of the prosthesis is plastic waste, which is ground and then heated to give the prosthesis a specific and adapted shape. The average price would fluctuate around 11 euros per prosthesis. “The aim of this project was to look for cheaper material with which we can help people from developing countries. That is what we have done, ”concludes Dr. Kandan.

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