ActivArmor, a Colorado-based manufacturer of 3D printed orthoses, an external device which supports the limbs or spine, has expanded its operations as a result of its partnered with Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute (JOI).
Made from high-temperature thermosetting plastics – similar to LEGO – ActivArmor devices are waterproof and customized to suit the patient. According to the company, the lattice design of the orthosis can be molded to accommodate post-surgical hardware, incisions, scars, and burns.
“JOI’s expertise in sports medicine makes them an ideal provider of this next-gen product,” explained Diana Hall, Founder of ActivArmor.
“Being right on the field with their patients, they are able to see the benefits of our hygienic, waterproof orthoses first-hand, and provide their patients with the latest in custom care solutions to improve healing outcomes and quality of life, both on and off the field.”
A breathable, 3D printed cast
Based in Florida, JOI is the official Sport Medicine Provider for teams including the Jacksonville Armada FC, the Blue Wave Swim Team, and the Jacksonville Jaguars football team. As a result of the partnership with ActivArmor, JOI’s 34 board-certified physicians can now offer ActivArmor products to their patients.
With the help of 3D mapping, ActivArmor devices are created to fit a patient’s injured limb. This method is more accurate and adaptive than conventional methods of support such as progressive layers of tape or plaster.
Kevin Kaplan, an orthopedic surgeon at JOI, and head team physician for the Jacksonville Jaguars told The Florida Times-Union:
“The benefits for athletes to be able to sweat, shower, ice and train while healing from an injury are obvious, but ActivArmor is also great for anyone who wants to remain active — from children to post-surgical patients.”
Following 5 years of field-testing on the high-tech waterproof, hygienic, breathable cast/splinting alternative, ActivArmor plans to expand further into the north Atlantic coast.
3D printed orthoses
The ability to customize 3D printed models has been frequently leveraged within the healthcare sector. Students at Gonzaga University in Washington have recently used additive manufacturing technology to produce an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) for children. The brace holds the foot and lower leg in position and helps children develop motor skills and build strength in and around their joint.
Following this, students at Barcelona’s Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) developed a 3D printed orthotic fin for a 16-year-old swimmer who suffered from a stroke and partial paralysis. The fin has aided the young swimmer’s positioning in the water, allowing him to build upper body muscle.
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Featured image shows ActivArmor 3D printed casts. Photo via ActivArmor.