OUR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

OUR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

Our R&D programme is driven by the needs of service users and the conditions prevalent in Sri Lanka. Guided by our motto, “Waste Not , Want Not’, we lay great emphasis on using appropriate and innovative technology to provide a modern, science driven, cost effective, internationally recognised service for our users. New ways of recycling plays an important role in avoiding waste thereby minimising costs.

At the commencement of our services in early 1990s without any resources, we were fortunate to receive donations of large quantities of used excellent quality prosthetic and orthotic components, machinery and mobility equipment from the NHS-UK. We established our services on this solid foundation. Our R&D programme includes,

Most of our workshop equipment, which bear the hallmark of innovations and modifications to used British equipment to make them more robust.
Development of methods to recycle used Plaster of Paris using equipment manufactured locally. We recycle large quantities of this expensive product and do not buy any new stocks at all.
Continuous R&D to improve our rubber vulcanised foot. It began with an imported Indian Jaipur foot which was not suitable for integration into our modular limb builds. Following many trials, we now fabricate a modular foot, incorporating a keel and ankle section made of recycled plastic which is encased in a vulcanised rubber shell. Collaborative research is in progress with Sri Lankan Government and University laboratories with a view to producing our own rubber compounds in house.
Working with the University of Loughborough to develop a modular prosthetic knee which will be suitable for a wide spectrum of amputees. Initial trials using recycled polypropylene to manufacture this product has been successful. Field trials are planned.
A variety of components such as socket alignment adapters, tube clamps and alignment pyramids are manufactured routinely at our main factory at Mahawa. These have evolved as cost effective and durable products following a continuous R&D programme over several years.
An internationally funded project in collaboration with Universities in the UK and Uganda to assess the impact of an innovative outreach programme developed by us for the war injured people in Northern Sri Lanka

Development of socket adapters and manufacturing of these at a friendly UK based Aluminium manufacturing company at a fraction of the cost of these in the open market. This is supplemented by local fabrication of components using equipment purchased from a previous Rotary Jaipur International grant.

Research and development of the artificial foot which
included major changes to the classic Jaipur
foot whilst maintaining the original rubber vulcanisation concept. It is important to note that this foot is preferred by the amputee people who use their prostheses to return to outdoor manual work. Further developments are needed to make it more robust and cosmetically pleasing.

Development of a prosthetic knee. In partnership with the
Mechanical Engineering department of the University of
Loughborough and supported by a retired Design Engineer from the Meththa Family, a prosthetic knee has been developed and it was trialled on two volunteers in Sri Lanka who are established limb users. Initial tests are very encouraging. Upon completion of further structural design changes, this knee will be manufactured in Sri Lanka. Ethics and official Government of Sri Lanka approval will be required before a field trial of about 10 knees.

We use recycled Polypropylene as the base material. This has enormous value in terms of cost savings as well as an environment protection issue. The cost of a knee is estimated at around GBP 50.00 whereas the cheapest product available in the market is around GBP 500.00. At a later stage, we hope to streamline this process further using 3D printing technology.