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Miniature Thermoelectric Cooled Air

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030589D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-18
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 51K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Provide a lower than ambient, cool air to breathable moldable material where the stump contacts the prostheses. This cool air is achieved by blowing ambient air over a heat sink that is cooled by an attached thermoelectric device. This combination will provide a lower than ambient air temperature to a porous, moldable, breathable material (such as polypropylene) that can be inserted into the prostheses device.

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Miniature Thermoelectric Cooled Air

One of the biggest complaints of the person with a leg prosthetic is the heat and the perspiration around the stump area. Perspiration is the means through which the body controls its temperature. When the weather is hot or as a person carries out activities extra heat is generated by the body. The perspiration contains solids which accumulate in the socket of an artificial limb and on the residual limb. These solids, combined with the warm, moist environment within the socket, make an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. As perspiration builds up within a socket it can also lead to the stump "pistoning" or moving around within the socket, which in turn can chafe the skin and cause abrasions. Orthopedic surgeon who specialized in children with "limb deficiencies" (birth defects or amputations) at Shriner's Hospitals for Crippled Children are interested in IBM Cooling Technology due to the difficulty of cooling the skin at the junction of the human body and an artificial limb. Literature search conducted suggest that the increased in temperature is between 2-5oC and approximately 2-5 Watts cooling capacity is needed to bring the temperature to nominal temperature.

This disclosure provides a lower than ambient, cool air to breathable moldable material where the stump contacts the prostheses. This cool air is achieved by blowing ambient air over a heat sink that is cooled by an attached thermoelectric device. This combination will provide a lower than ambient air temperature to a porous, moldable, breathable material (such as polypropylene) that can be inserted into the prostheses device. This material is structurally rigid but soft to the touch. The insert can be disposed of when it becomes too degraded for continued use. When the insert is applied to the prostheses device , openings are provided in the prostheses device to allow some ventilation. These holes (round or slots) are applied to specific areas to permit ventilation but still provide enough structural rigidity to the prostheses device for continued active use. The porous material permits movement of the perspiration that builds up within the prostheses and can exit through the holes of the prostheses. The fan, battery and the thermoelectric device with the attached heat sink are added to be totally transparent to those viewing the prostheses device.

A breathable moldable material is placed where the stump contacts the prostheses and to apply active ventilation to this area using a battery operated miniature fan in concert with a thermoelectric device attached to...