After the idea development phase during their HPI D-School Advanced Track semester, Lucas Paes de Melo and Wesley Teerlink decided to bring their team's solution to life. They wrote a business plan and received a start-up grant from the EXIST programme which allowed them to research different materials for the development of their product, the Confidence Socket, and launch their company “Amparo”.
Amparo developed an innovative and adjustable prosthetic socket that is much easier and cheaper to produce than other existing options. It was designed by the student team to support amputees who cannot afford conventional sockets. Sockets are the components of prosthetic legs that act as the interface between the prosthesis itself and the amputee’s limb. They need to be individually customized for each patient which usually makes them very expensive..
Instead of applying the casting methods used in traditional socket making, Amparo’s socket will be fitted directly to the amputee’s limb. The team is using thermoplastic material that becomes bendable when heated and can then be molded to an amputee’s limb to create the socket. As there are no special tools needed for this procedure, it can be completed in one visit. Other than traditional sockets, the thermoplastic socket of Amparo can always be re-boiled and remolded to the limb which becomes necessary when an amputee’s limb size changes. This student-designed technology will save amputees a lot of time, money and worries.