Kansas company creates more comfortable prosthetics using hemp fiber

February 21, 2022 |

In Kansas, a company called Human Plant Solutions has developed lower-extremity prosthetics using a hemp fibers.  

The company was cofounded in 2017 by medical device entrepreneur Sam Spallitta and prosthetic technician Kyle Trivisonno after the two met at a hemp conference. The company is using hemp yarn sourced from China and automated knitting equipment to create a material with the necessary performance attributes. 

Their patent-pending material is cheaper, more sustainable, and more elastic than commonly used prosthetic material carbon fiber, but has equivalent strength.  It is also less harmful to work with. “[Hemp] is a very friendly material to work with because the particles kind of just drop to the ground, versus other materials that have very small particles, [where] when you start to grind them, they’re just kind of like dust everywhere,” Spallitta says.

Human Plant Solutions material is also more comfortable for amputees. “There is swelling when [amputees] are moving around, and over time they get atrophy to their bones,” Spallitta explains. “That’s why try to have a better-fitting device for the patient—[to] prevent even the most minimal amount of swelling and protect the bone for as long as we can.”

One user has run multiple marathons and an Iron Man using his below-the-knee prosthetic. 

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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