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Title: Functional intimate apparel for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS)
Authors: Yip, JYW 
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a complex three-dimensional spinal disorder. Rigid bracing is the universal conservative treatment that has been found to be effective for AIS. However, rigid braces inhibit the mobility and cause physical discomfort to AIS patients. To address this issue, a functional intimate apparel garment for AIS patients was designed and developed. The principles behind the use of this textile brace was to increase the mobility and perceived comfort of patients. An artificial hinge bone was developed to stabilize the corrective components and allow forward bending. Corrective straps attached to the artificial hinge are used to exert corrective forces onto the scoliotic spine. Semi-rigid silicon pads with high conformability to the body were developed to enhance the corrective forces. Moreover, an ergonomic open-gusset design was employed to eliminate the inconvenience of doffing the garment when using the toilet. The prototype has been tested by five subjects in a clinical trial. Among them, 3 showed a reduction of over 5 degrees in their spinal curvature. When the Cobb’s angle was compared pre- and post-intervention, it was found that the functional intimate apparel provided a correction of 6.1 degrees on average, which is equivalent to about a 27% correction of the scoliotic spine. The functional intimate apparel is more flexible, more comfortable, and lighter in weight so that scoliotic patients who need to undergo bracing treatment will enjoy improved quality of life. The study received two awards, and a Chinese patent has been filed for the artificial hinge design. The results of the study have been published in the Orthopedic Research Online Journal, and shared at the 14th Asian Textile Conference, the Textile Summit 2018 in Japan, the International Conference on Science and Innovative Engineering in Rome, and the Silicon Valley International Invention Festival in the US.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Posted with permission of the author.
Appears in Collections:Design Research Portfolio

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