20 August 2010
20 August 2010
When Matthew Mikosz, President of Partial Hand Solutions, saw the number of soldiers returning home with hand and finger injuries, he decided to develop prosthetic fingers that would feel and operate as naturally as possible for the recipient.
He built the prototype for his ""M-Fingers"" device with material development assistance from custom compounder RTP Company.
""While there were a number of prosthetic hand designs on the market, no functional mechanical fingers had yet been developed,"" explained Mikosz. ""With M-Fingers, I saw an opportunity to give back to veterans who had lost something.""
The M-Finger design uses an RTP 2300 Series glass-filled rigid thermoplastic polyurethane for the inner structure of the fingers and multi-position thumb. These are then overmolded with an RTP 1200 Series thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer. The elastomer provides each finger with dexterity to independently and gently conform to whatever it grasps, while the rigid polyurethane material provides the product with excellent strength and dimensional stability.
The mechanical fingers are actuated by wrist flexions and include molded-in fingernails for picking up small objects such as coins. ""With so many M-Fingers being used by soldiers in rehabilitation, it was very important that RTP Company's materials provide both structural stability and, at the same time, the ability to move and operate the prosthesis smoothly,"" explained Chris Budnick, General Manager of Vanguard Plastics, who was also involved in the development of M-Fingers.
Budnick added that RTP Company was very responsive during the entire development process. ""They really brought their plastics knowledge and expertise to the table, and provided great materials,"" he said. ""The M-Finger design is truly amazing and the feedback has been very positive.""