The AMPARO prosthetic socket was named a winner of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Innovation Showcase (ISHOW), held June 16 in Washington DC. Jessica Menold, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Pennsylvania State University who is helping to develop the socket, competed on AMPARO’s behalf. She will share the $50,000 prize with two other winners in the global competition for hardware-led social innovation.
The AMPARO socket can be quickly molded and fitted to a patient’s individual geometry and shape-allowing the prosthesis to be adjusted at home when needed instead of at the prosthetist’s office, which may not be easily accessible in developing countries.
“A lot of work has been done in prosthetic knees and feet, but there hasn’t been much work in sockets, especially for developing countries,” said Menold. “We have discovered that not only is it difficult and very time-consuming to make sockets, but the amputees have to come back to the clinic many times.”
AMPARO was also awarded a $5,000 innovation award in April.