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Title: Modern compression orthesis for improving wearing comfort, haemodynamic efficacy and preventing knee pain of lower limbs
Authors: Liu, R 
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Nearly 250 million people have osteoarthritis-related knee pain (KP), and 20%–40% of adults experience chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) worldwide. As part of our research project—the first of its kind in Hong Kong—clinical studies were conducted, and they revealed that over 60% of people aged 45 and above experience both KP and CVI simultaneously. However, to date, not a single solution has been proposed to address this combination of symptoms.
This research aimed to design and develop a modern compression orthosis called the “Leg Guarder Kit” by strategically integrating compression stockings and knee braces to improve blood circulation and relieve KP in the lower limbs. The study objectives were as follows: (1) to establish a novel stratified body-shape-driven sizing system [S4] adapted to the typical Asian morphology; (2) to create a new “Incudoknit” weaving structure that can control elastic moduli of the compression materials; and (3) to optimize the biomechanical design of the developed orthosis by applying advanced 3D hybrid weft-knitting technology for achieving effective pressure control, joint support, and ergonomic fit. The developed kit generated unique biaxial tension and double progressive compression to the lower limbs, thereby stabilizing the skeletal muscles, increasing mobility, and promoting venous hemodynamics in practice.
The newly developed orthosis has already benefited over 300 people with CVI and KP (elderly people, athletes, nurses, care workers, teachers, office clerks, and electricians). The research outcomes have been recognized by the clinical communities and design industry, including the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Chemtax Industrial Co. Ltd., China Southern Power Grid, Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission, and an award committee of the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (Switzerland). This project has attracted HK$ 4.5M in funding from the relevant industries and the Hong Kong SAR Government. The outputs have yielded ten publications, four patents, one design award, and one industrial standard. Our invention underpinned a new business of the Health Pathways Group and was first launched in 2018.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Posted with permission of the author.
Appears in Collections:Design Research Portfolio

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