“The discomfort, the itchiness, the odor that results from bacteria and sweat build up beneath the cast, the skin breakdown is usually pretty apparent when you take the cast off–you notice skin is really soft and weak, ” said Jason Troutner, a senior at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Not to mention the time it takes to get your muscle back up to speed, he added: “I’ve broken my wrist twice, and both times when I take the cast off it takes two to three weeks to build the muscle mass back.”
With this in mind, Troutner, Ashley Moy, Justin Brooks, three senior engineering students at UIUC, are setting out to reinvent the cast. Their startup, called Cast21, uses a proprietary application process to immobilize bones through a waterproof material that forms to the patients’ body, while giving the skin room to breath. In addition, it can be used along with electrical stimulation therapy which can help mend bones faster than average, in certain cases.
Their solution is inspired by a Chinese finger trap–a mock up of the prototype shows an open, webbed binding. The team is currently getting a patent for the process, so they couldn’t divulge many details, but the team said essentially it will be a tubing system, that is filled with a fluid material that solidifies and forms to the shape of the limb.
Here is the full story from Chiagoinno.