Lightweight, Compliant Manual Wheelchair High-Tone Child

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43HD053196-01
Agency Tracking Number: HD053196
Amount: $99,724.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2006-2
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (843) 322-0486
Business Contact
Phone: (843) 322-0486
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Experts describe unmet needs in wheelchairs for individuals with high tone. They describe requirement for durability, light weight, adjustability, dynamic seating and modular components. These needs are especially critical for the wheelchair bound among the 100,000 children with cerebral palsy. This proposed children's wheelchair would demonstrate the NICHD mission to assist children in reaching "healthy and productive lives" free from disability. Having successfully demonstrated unmatched durability with a previous plastic wheelchair prototype, the new long-term proposal objective is a modular, lightweight plastic, durable and modular wheelchair with built-in dynamic seating. This project designs a prototype with consideration of synthetic material properties and function and reviews the design with assistive technology and clinical experts. It then fabricates prototype components and builds and tests the resulting prototype wheelchair. The anticipated properties include: a maximum weight of 22 pounds; significantly less than the tubular steel chairs presently available, dynamic seating that deflects with high tonal force and returns to its original dimensions, long-term durability as result of distribution of the high forces generated during spastic events, modularity with a removable seat that can be independently used. The chassis and seat will be designed based on data gathered from NICHD-supported design and build of the adult Merlexi Craft wheelchair. Experts at CATEA (Ga Tech) and Tampa Shriners Hospital will evaluate the design and suggest modifications. The modified designs will guide fabrication of prototype component parts from glass- reinforced and unfilled polypropylene sheet using CAM techniques. The components will be assembled into a prototype and tested for durability. The prototype will again be reviewed by CATEA and Tampa Shriners to define parameters for a Phase II program to produce, test, conduct human studies and gain FDA approval of the lightweight, durable children's chair. The need for a broader range of assistive devices that respond to the needs of a broad range of disabled individuals is a desirable public health goal. Further, another demonstration of the design capabilities and the durability and versatility of plastic vs. metal wheelchair devices can lead to consideration of new designs in synthetic materials throughout the medical device industry thus broadly benefiting medical care.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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