Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 10-31-1997

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Taiming Chu

Second Advisor

Jack Hodgins

Third Advisor

Charles E. Wilson


Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFOs) are devices that assist patients who sustained an abnormal motion at the ankle joint of the foot due to traumatic injury and stroke, etc. The objective of this project is to determine the stress patterns in AFOs under different loading conditions such as weights and genders. Thus, the location of failure can be predicted, and a redesign process can be developed. Furthermore, those experimental results will be used to verify the results obtained from the previous Finite Element Analysis (FEA) [11,10]. Results from the experiment showed a significant stress change due to load change. This stress change mainly occurred at the lateral side of the neck and upper neck regions of AFOs (Fig. 2.7). Particularly, at the lateral side, there is a significant tensile stress change due to load change. At the medial side of the AFO and at the neck or lower neck regions, results show a significant compressive stress change due to load change. Moreover, during backward walking, the change of the magnitude of the compressive stress is inversely proportional to the loads (e.g. the body weight). At the center of the heel region of the AFO, no significant change is indicated for all motions and loads simulated. This is because of its unique arc structure which has the superior function of dispersing concentrated forces. The experimental result also shows no significant stress change with a change of genders. These results are confirmed with FEA results [11,10].



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