12 Jun 2020 - Artificial limbs made out of plastic water bottles could save healthcare providers millions and help tackle pollution at the same time.
An expert at De Montfort University, Leicester (DMU) in the UK has successfully manufactured the first-of-its-kind prosthetic limb socket made from recycled plastic bottles.
Dr Karthikeyan Kandan, senior lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at DMU, found he could grind the plastic bottles down and use the granulated material to spin polyester yarns, which can then be heated up to form a solid yet lightweight material that can be moulded into prosthetic limbs.
The cost of producing a prosthetic socket this way is just £10, compared to the current industry average of around £5,000 each.
Dr Kandan, who is also associate director of the Institute of Engineering Sciences at DMU, said this breakthrough could address the gap between high-performance prosthesis that cost thousands of pounds and affordable prostheses that lack quality and durability – as well as helping to solve the problem of plastic pollution.
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