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Develop a more accurate below-knee amputee model that accounts for the altered anatomy and the socket-limb interface dynamics.

Advances in lower limb prostheses have focused on mimicking the lost limb in form and function. However, even if a prosthesis could perfectly mimic the intact limb, an amputee’s gait would have abnormalities due to the change in their musculoskeletal anatomy and the non-ideal interface between the socket of the prosthesis and the residual limb. As a result, the residual limb is loaded in unnatural ways and can result in pain and discomfort which limits the functionality of the prosthesis. Our objective in this project is to develop a forward dynamics musculoskeletal model for simulating amputee gait that can account for an amputee’s unique anatomy and reduce socket loading by directly modeling constraints associated with the socket interface. We hypothesize that problems faced by amputees can be alleviated by using computer modeling and simulation to guide the prosthesis development process towards optimizing the loading conditions and gait efficiency. The expected outcome of this project is a more accurate model for simulating below-knee amputee gait that will form the basis for a new integrated design approach based on OpenSim to optimize the design of lower-limb prostheses.