Capstone 2019 Highlight: Waterproof Osseointegration Covers

Two team members working on their Capstone Project

Capstone 2019 Highlight: Waterproof Osseointegration Covers
Department: Chemical and Life Science Engineering
Team: Megan Freeman, Kyle McDaniel, Joshua Snow
Adviser: Bennett C. Ward, Ph.D.
Sponsor: QL+

For a U.S. Army veteran who lost both legs above the knee, a Capstone Design team is designing and creating waterproof covers to protect his body while swimming.

The veteran, who was injured by an improvised explosive device, has had bilateral osseointegration surgery, in which titanium implants were permanently attached to the bone in his legs. His prosthetic legs connect to the implants, which penetrate through the skin. The goal of the waterproof covers is to reduce any risk of infection that the veteran, who lives in Michigan, might face while swimming in lake water.

The student team is working on a prototype that he can put on and take off independently, that will stay on during water activities and be waterproof and durable.

The team is collaborating with two students from the VCU School of the Arts Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising program on the project.

The students have been developing prototypes based on feedback from the veteran and his surgeon at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The veteran has been invited to attend the Capstone Design Expo on April 26, 2019, to model the design.

The project sponsor is QL+, a nonprofit organization headquartered in McLean, Virginia, that challenges college students to create novel solutions to improve the lives of wounded veterans and first responders.