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Designer creates prosthetics to help amputee ballet dancers

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2019-07-22 17:12

About the solution

Marie-t (named after Swedish ballet dancer Marie Taglioni) consists of a prosthetic leg is made from a 3D printing socket, foam-injected rational moulded foot, carbon fibre, stainless steel toe and rubber grip toe (to help provide the dancer with balance and momentum during rotations).

What’s innovative about this gadget is that, unlike traditional artificial limbs, which are designed to mimic the human body, it enables amputee ballet dancers to enhance their performance.

The designer got inspired to build this device after reading about a dancer who had lost her legs. “I once saw a report that a girl who loves to dance but lost her legs in the Wenchuan earthquake. She lost her chance to dance again. But if she lost her legs and had this prosthesis, she might have the opportunity to re-achieve her dreams. The current design is paying more and more attention to some special groups, to their spiritual life and to their dreams throughout their lives. This kind of design is more and more user-friendly design, I believe there will be more similar designs in the future, paying attention to details”, he noted.

Marie-T allows amputees to dance on pointe throughout a performance, encouraging dancers to create a new choreography that has never been executed by traditional ballerinas. “I wanted to explore what would happen if you could allow a person to perform on pointe 100 per cent of the time,” said An, who developed Marie-T over the course of four months. “How would ballet change? I wanted to create a tool for someone to take and let their imagination define the capabilities of the product”, Jae-Hyun said.

While researching, the inventor realised that a weak ankle can twist and cause a ballerina in pointe position to wobble. With this in mind, she designed a strong and stable ankle area that helps the ballerina stay in balance. The ankle connects to a slightly curved carbon-fibre limb which helps absorb the shock from the impact of the ballet dancer stepping forward. The limb is topped by a 3D-printed socket with steel round head screws. Ill-fitting prosthetic limbs can cause blisters and rashes on dancers. The design also got this covered, as Marie-T’s prosthetic pieces can also be swapped in the case of resizing or replacing due to being worn down.

Jae-Hyun wants to keep developing his project by teaming up with an amputee dancer who shares his innovative vision for this new ballet genre.

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/32N7mwD

More info: https://bit.ly/2Swcd04

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com

About the author

Jae-Hyun An is an industrial designer living in the USA who created Marie-T, a prosthetic leg designed specifically for amputee ballet dancers. He designed this device after reading a report about an amputee girl who loves to dance.

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