Design for personalized medicine in orthotics and prosthetics

Marco Leite, Bruno Soares, Vanessa Lopes, Sara Santos, Miguel T. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

2 Citations (Scopus)


Personalized medicine is a trend where the approach to the treatment is focused on the patient, rather than an approach where “one size fits all”. The objective is to develop devices and treatments where the needs of doctors and patients are attended, and the generated concepts address those needs. Additive manufacturing is an enabler of these types of devices, since it is a technology well adapted to complex shapes and one series production. In this paper, the authors present two case studies in rehabilitation, one for a knee positioning orthosis for an adolescent with cerebral palsy and the other for a prosthetic arm for a toddler. In both cases the adopted methodology is similar: from imageology images, a generation of concepts is embodied and manufactured through the use of 3D printers. The use of adequate materials allows for the generation of orthosis and prosthetics fully customized to the patients’ needs and aligned with the doctor’s recommendations. Personalized medicine will allow for a reduction of rejection levels, an increase of patient’s quality of life and to a reduction or a delaying of downstream problems. The two case studies presented here demonstrate the potential for additive manufacturing in the area of rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-461
Number of pages5
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event29th CIRP Design Conference, CIRP Design 2019 - Povoa de Varzim, Portugal
Duration: 8 May 201910 May 2019


  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Concept generation
  • Product Design
  • Rehabilitation

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