A Case Study on Designing a Passive Feeding-Assistive Orthosis for Arthrogryposis

Miguel Nobre Castro*, Tariq Rahman, Kristen Faith Nicholson, John Rasmussen, Shaoping Bai, Michael Skipper Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Passive arm assistive devices play an important role in the rehabilitation of patients with neuromuscular disorders or injuries by overcoming their motor deficit. Routine human activities such as feeding are not possible without the aid provided by one of these devices or by a caregiver. In this study, a body-powered assistive device was designed for feeding purposes using a compact spherical scissors mechanism and zero-free-length springs (rubber bands) to leverage the patient's residual biceps and healthy triceps function. This partially balanced and lightweight orthosis was also projected to accommodate the spring attachment points closer to the elbow joint center. The performance of the prototype was evaluated on a young adult with bi-lateral amyoplasia of the biceps due to arthrogryposis who could not initially reach the superior anterior aspect of the close-to-torso region of the RWS. That was accomplished by measuring the anatomical reachable 3-D workspace (RWS) of the patient before and while wearing the device. The results show that the patient, with the assistance provided by the device, was able to attain positions in the frontal close-to-torso region of the body that included reaching her mouth, thus enabling independent feeding.
Original languageEnglish
Article number034502
JournalJournal of Medical Devices
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Passive Orthosis
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Upper Extremity
  • Rehabilitation
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Reachable 3-D workspace


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