We present the development and evaluation of a gel liner system for upper limb prosthesis users that enables acquisition of electromyographic (myoelectric) control signals through embedded electrodes and flexible, conductive fabric leads. This liner system is constructed using a manufacturing approach rather than by modifying a commercially available liner. To evaluate the efficacy, eight male individuals with transhumeral amputations used this system, with standard myoelectric prostheses, for home trials lasting an average of 7.3 weeks. Before and after the home trials, electrical resistance of the cumulative 218 embedded electrodes and leads within 10 gel liner systems was measured and found to increase slightly (from an average of 13.4 to 27.5 Ω) after usage. While this increase was statistically significant (p = 0.001), all but one of the final resistance values remained low enough to enable consistent myoelectric control. User impressions were evaluated through a questionnaire comparing the liner prototypes to their own myoelectric prosthesis socket interface. Subjects preferred the liner prototype (p = 0.008) over their own system in the clinical areas of comfort, suspension, function, and, especially, ease of use. These results suggest that this gel liner system is a clinically viable option and that it may offer advantages over current clinical technology for users of upper limb myoelectric prostheses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)