In recent years, scientific research has driven advances in the design and control of prostheses. Little research, however, has explored the amount and kind of bacteria present on liners, a particularly relevant area of research considering the prevalence of skin conditions in persons with limb loss. The goal of this project is to explore the correlation of potentially harmful bacteria to various liner conditions such as age of the liner, material properties, and patient hygiene practices.
Our specific aim is to determine the type and relative quantity of bacteria present on gel liners and correlate this presence to liner conditions. The gel liners of lower-limb amputees who qualify for the study will be swabbed by clinical staff of the Prosthetic and Orthotic Clinical Center at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, IL. This swab sample will be analyzed by polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. We will then correlate these results with patient and liner conditions through a survey and statistical analyses. We anticipate that this project will help clinicians provide better recommendations on liner replacement, provide evidence-based support to payer sources, and inform future studies.
More information here.
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