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Skin temperature prediction in lower limb prostheses

Mathur, Neha and Glesk, Ivan and Buis, Arjan (2015) Skin temperature prediction in lower limb prostheses. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, 20 (1). pp. 158-165. ISSN 2168-2208

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Abstract

Increased temperature and perspiration within a prosthetic socket is a common complaint of many amputees. The heat dissipation in prosthetic sockets is greatly influenced by the thermal conductive properties of the socket and interface liner materials. These materials influence the body’s temperature regulation mechanism and might be the reason for thermal discomfort in prosthetic sockets. Monitoring interface temperature at skin level is notoriously complicated. The problem might be considered notorious because embedding wires and sensors in an elastomer eventually results in elastomer failures because of the high strain induced when donning a liner (amputees roll the liners onto their limbs). Another reason is because placing sensors and wires directly against the skin could cause irritation and chaffing over just a short period of time. We describe a route wherein if, the thermal properties of the socket & liner materials are known, the in-socket residual limb temperature could be accurately predicted - by monitoring the temperature between socket and liner rather than skin and liner using the Gaussian Processes technique.