Prosthetic Designer-Researcher

As an Anatomist, one can work as a prosthetic designer and prosthetic researcher for private companies and/or manufacturing laboratories. Prosthesis is the artificial replacement of a missing body part due to a disease or an accident. Designing prosthesis is more than just creativity, for the most part, it requires an in depth knowledge of gross anatomy, making sure that every part or extremity in the body is learned in detail. An Anatomist may work as the sole designer of prosthetics or may work hand in hand with a team of fellow anatomists or designers and researchers to create innovations and improvements on the current trends in prosthesis making. It is involved in the field of biomechatronics, or the science of fusing mechanical devices with human muscle and tissues. A Master’s degree or Doctoral degree in anatomy is sufficient to make one credible as a consulting Anatomist in prosthetic projects for clients.

By understanding the mechanism, composition, structure and functions of body parts, anatomists are able to copy the basic make-up of a part that needs to be replaced. The knowledge in muscle insertions and actions are critical, since the limb must be designed in such a way that the patient or client is still able to move the whole affected segment as one and in unison. The artificial limb must be designed to be move under the full control of the patient and it must follow the ambulation rhythm of the body it is designated to fit. Anatomists are usually educated in related fields such as kinesiology, which deals with the movement of the body. By understanding this, anatomists who design prosthesis are also able to measure the exact dimensions of artificial limbs. They are also able to calculate the proper weight of the prosthesis, in relation to the whole body weight.

The primary job of Anatomists in prosthesis making is to be able to make the artificial limb as realistic as possible to the real part that was removed. Anatomists involved in this field usually work with engineers and design experts and they should be able to coordinate very well and explain their complex ideas and proposals to the members of the team to be able to generate the appropriate make of an artificial limb. Anatomists also work with physicians in talking to the patients and clients about the mechanics of wearing prosthesis, and the initial adaptation of the body. Certain adjustments in the body that patients must make are also researched by the anatomists to ensure the comfort of the person who will receive the prosthesis.

A lot of people are willing to pay great sums of money for a first- class prosthesis, since prosthesis is worn permanently for those who purchase them. Anatomists who prefer to work as prosthesis designers are hired by large prosthesis companies and are usually very well compensated. It is also a favourable career because the trends in prosthesis making are now being developed and the demand for artificial limbs are now increasing.

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