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Dynamic ulcer prevention insole for people with Diabetes

Industry shows great interest in PhD candidate’s thesis research
05 December 2018

In the Netherlands there are more than 800.000 patients with Diabetes Mellitus. This number will increase till 1.300.000 in 2025. 3% of the Diabetic people develop a foot ulcer. In 15% of the patients with an ulcer an amputation of foot/lower leg is needed.

UMCG PhD candidate Roy Reints
UMCG PhD candidate Roy Reints

PhD candidate Roy Reints of Research Center of Excellence SPRINT/ UMCG designed a dynamic ulcer insole to prevent patients with Diabetes Mellitusin developing a foot ulcer.

Roy: ‘ Due to physiological changes high pressurespots come forward.Neuropathy as a complication of Diabetes Mellitus, decreases the proprioceptive feedback, so people with neuropathic feet do not feel these high pressures and itincreases the chanceon an ulcer. The dynamic ulcer insoleaims to prevent patients in developing a foot ulcer.’

Offloading high pressures

The dynamic ulcer prevention insole consists entirely out of small elements that drop down only when pressures are over acertain threshold resulting in local offloading of high pressuresby redistribution to neighbouring elements whilenot affecting stability.

Roy: ‘As the insole consists entirely out of these special elements, pressures that are considered to be too high will always be offloaded, even when the location of these pressure spots changes over time.

Symbionics research

Roy Reints thesis research is part of the Symbionics: Co-Adaptive Assistive Devices initiative. More and more people with a physical disability rely on the support of an 'assistive device' in their normal daily life. These devices help the users to remain functionally mobile. Symbionics is a public private project of 6 Dutch universities, including UMCG, private partners, patient organizations and SPRINT.

Northern Knowledge

The innovative dynamic ulcerprevention insole has been filed for patency via the Northern Knowledge UG-UMCG IP-Team. Important, because industry is knocking on the door interested to take the prototype to the market.

Roy: ‘For now we’re discussing business opportunities for the insoles with Dr. Comfort, as a large part of their customer base consists of people that are at risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers. From the start of the project Dr. Comfort, a leading company in the diabetic footwear industry, was involved in the project. They have been very helpful, not only in providing shoes for all our experiments, but also in prototype manufacturing and looking at marketing possibilities. Exciting times for a PhD candidate.’

Research poster


Roy Reints will complete his Dynamic ulcer prevention insole thesis mid-2019. For more information, please contact Roy Reints:

Last modified:05 December 2018 11.52 a.m.

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