Scientists from The University of Texas at Arlington have developed footwear technology that relieves pressure on areas of the feet that experience high stress during walking and other activities.
This new footwear could help prevent diabetic foot ulcers.
The team has received a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a dual-layer insole apparatus for diabetic foot lesion prevention.
The research was conducted by Muthu Wijesundara et al.
Due to numbness in their legs and feet, people with diabetes often are unable to detect and respond to stress-related pain by adjusting their foot loading.
This can result in repeated stress to high-pressure foot regions such as the heel or toes and can worsen blisters, sores and ulcers to the point of severe tissue loss or life-threatening infection.
For many, foot ulcers can lead to amputation of a toe, foot or leg.
In the study, the removable shoe insole relieves stress by periodically regulating and redistributing pressure across all areas of the foot.
Using fluid-filled cells, the dual-layer apparatus provides variability in a person’s foot-loading patterns to reduce prolonged pressure to any given area.
The insole can automatically adjust and is designed to accommodate people of various weights.
In addition, the insole can be substituted for a total contact cast during the healing of a foot ulcer, and it can provide gait and ground force analysis.
The team says diabetes is a leading cause of amputation worldwide, and there is a major role that technology can play to prevent its devastating effects.
They are now one step closer to finding a solution to reduce risk of complications related to diabetic foot ulcers.
The team is working with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center on a pilot study funded by the National Institutes of Health to test initial prototypes.
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For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about a powerful new way to treat diabetic foot ulcers, and results showing common diabetes drug could strongly cut COVID-19 death risk.
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