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Prevalence of heat and perspiration discomfort inside prostheses: literature review.People with limb amputation deal with thermal stresses in their daily activities. Unfortunately, in the majority of this population, all thermal transfer mechanisms, including convection, radiation, evaporation, and conduction, can be disturbed due to the prosthetic socket barrier, decreased body surface area, and/or vascular disease. The thermal environment inside prosthetic sockets, in addition to decreased quality of life and prosthesis use, comfort, and satisfaction, could endanger people with amputation with a high risk of skin irritations. The current review explores the importance of thermal and perspiration discomfort inside prosthetic sockets by providing an insight into the prevalence of the problem. The literature search was performed in two databases, PubMed and Web of Knowledge, to find relevant articles. After considering the review criteria and hand-searching the reference sections of the selected studies, 38 studies were listed for review and data extraction. This review revealed that more than 53% of people with amputation in the selected studies experienced heat and/or perspiration discomfort inside their prostheses. In spite of great technological advances, current prostheses are unable to resolve this problem. Therefore, more attention must be paid by researchers, clinicians, and manufacturers of prosthetic components to thermal-related biomechanics of soft tissues, proper fabrication technique, material selection, and introduction of efficient thermoregulatory systems.
The prototype of a thermoregulatory system for measurement and control of temperature inside prosthetic socketThermal related problems with prostheses are common complaints of amputee people. This article aims to introduce a thermoregulatory technique as a potential solution for those problems in prostheses wearers. A smart thermoregulatory system was designed, manufactured, and installed on a phantom model of a prosthetic socket. It captured temperature data from 16 sensors positioned at the interface between the phantom model and a silicone liner and used their average for comparison with a defined set temperature to select required heating or cooling functions for thermal equilibrium. A thin layer of Aluminum was used to transfer temperature between thermal pump and different sites around the phantom model. The feasibility of this thermoregulatory technique was confirmed by its ability to provide thermal equilibrium. Further investigations to improve the design of thermoregulatory system are necessary including temperature transfer element and power consumption based on thermal capacity and thermal inertia of the residual limb. The smart thermoregulatory system by providing thermal equilibrium between two sides of a prosthetic silicone liner can control residual limb skin temperature and sweating. Consequently, it can improve quality of life in amputee people.