FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Richard M. Greenwald
Janyes R. Lemons
WORLD-RENOWNED RESEARCH AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT GROUP FOCUSES ON ORTHOTICS AND PROSTHETICS INDUSTRY
Fundamental breakthrough in volume management for lower limb suction sockets.
Lebanon, NH - March 19, 2002 - Simbex LLC announced today that it will unveil its Active Contact System™ at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) national meeting in Orlando, Florida on March 20, 2002. The product automatically and continuously maintains a stable fit for transfemoral suction sockets even as the residual limb changes volume.
"During my sixty years of using transfemoral prostheses, the one common problem they all shared was the inability to fit securely all day long", said Robert C. Dean, ScD, Adjunct Professor at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, former Assistant Professor at MIT and the Chairman and co-founder of Simbex. "As my residual limb became smaller during the day, I was less able to remain active unless I spent the time and energy to find seclusion to don additional stump socks for a good fit. I knew there had to be a better way," he continued.
The inability of existing prostheses to adequately adapt to the natural limb volume changes causes skin breakdown and the loss of mobility experienced by many amputees. Over a decade of attempts to resolve the problem using electronics and pumps led to the development of the Active Contact System™, a self-actuated, liquid pump to fill the dynamically changing space between the limb and the socket. A change in limb volume causes the Actiflow Circuit™ to detect a pressure change in the suction socket and activates the system to add or remove fluid from the socket, thus maintaining a comfortable and stable fit. The natural motion of walking provides the only power necessary!
"We have interviewed hundreds of prosthetists and learned two very important facts," said Richard M. Greenwald, PhD, president and co-founder of Simbex. "One - the prosthetist does not have a solution to deal effectively with the challenge of volume management. Two - prosthetists want products that have been adequately tested before launch. So, we are aware of the stakes - the product addresses a fundamental need and we must execute a cautious rollout that prioritizes prosthetist feedback and support."
The company anticipates the product will be ready to ship in June. Simbex is recruiting a nationwide network of consulting prosthetist it calls "Product Development Partners" to propel the evolution of its products.
Simbex is also developing technology for use in transtibial and non-suction sockets. "We are glad to participate in testing this new volume management system and I have the opportunity to test the prototypes myself. This product could significantly enhance the all-day fit of a lower-limb prosthesis," said Bob Emerson of Next Step Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc. in Manchester, NH.
About Simbex LLC
Simbex is a research and product development company whose core expertise is biomechanical feedback systems. The goal of the company is to create marketable products and solutions for active life improvement in the areas of prosthetics, sports injury prevention and rehabilitation. The founders are internationally recognized experts in their fields and have decades of experience in the area of functional evaluation and efficacy assessment of complex biomechanical systems for the sporting goods, orthopedic and exercise equipment industries. The research branch of the Company is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.