Shape Memory Ankle-Foot Orthoses

Jianming Chen, Jinlian Hu, Aaron K.L. Leung, Cheng Chen, Jun Zhang, Yuanchi Zhang, Yong Zhu, Jianping Han

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Electrically actuated ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) were designed and prototyped using shape memory textile composites. Acrylic copolymers were synthesized as the matrix to demonstrate shape memory effects, whereas electrothermal fabrics were embedded to generate uniform heat as a trigger. Superior to conventional polymeric orthoses, shape memory AFOs (SM-AFOs) could be repeatedly programmed at least 20 times with stable shape fixity and recovery. Evidenced by clinical practice, SM-AFOs were effectively actuated at 10 V, allowing the correction of ankle angles with 10° plantarflexion. Ultimately, we envision a smart orthopedic system that can advance progressive rehabilitation with manipulation under safe and convenient conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32935-32941
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2018


  • acrylic copolymers
  • ankle-foot orthoses
  • drop foot
  • electrothermal fabrics
  • shape memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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