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Subject Specific Optimisation of the Stiffness of Footwear Material for Maximum Plantar Pressure Reduction

CHATZISTERGOS, Panagiotis, NAEMI, Roozbeh, HEALY, Aoife, Gerth, Peter and CHOCKALINGAM, Nachiappan (2017) Subject Specific Optimisation of the Stiffness of Footwear Material for Maximum Plantar Pressure Reduction. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, online. ISSN 0090-6964

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Abstract or description

Current selection of cushioning materials for therapeutic footwear and orthoses is based on empirical and anecdotal evidence. The aim of this investigation is to assess the biomechanical properties of carefully selected cushioning materials and to establish the basis for patient-specific material optimisation. For this purpose, bespoke cushioning materials with qualitatively similar mechanical behaviour but different stiffness were produced. Healthy volunteers were asked to stand and walk on materials with varying stiffness and their capacity for pressure reduction was assessed. Mechanical testing using a surrogate heel model was employed to investigate the effect of loading on optimum stiffness. Results indicated that optimising the stiffness of cushioning materials improved pressure reduction during standing and walking by at least 16 and 19% respectively. Moreover, the optimum stiffness was strongly correlated to body mass (BM) and body mass index (BMI), with stiffer materials needed in the case of people with higher BM or BMI. Mechanical testing confirmed that optimum stiffness increases with the magnitude of compressive loading. For the first time, this study provides quantitative data to support the importance of stiffness optimisation in cushioning materials and sets the basis for methods to inform optimum material selection in the clinic.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Panagiotis CHATZISTERGOS
Date Deposited: 11 May 2017 08:32
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:46

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