There’s no pain quite like breaking a bone. Whether it’s from playing a sport, climbing a tree, or being involved in a car accident, there’s no mistaking that intense ache and gut feeling that something’s not quite right with one of your limbs. Some folks are lucky enough never to break a bone in their life, while others seem to break one almost every year. Most of us who have experienced a broken bone can attest to the pain, but there’s also something else that goes along with the experience that’s almost, if not more unpleasant, than the pain itself — the itching.
Once you’ve had your hand or leg wrapped in a plaster cast, you almost immediately develop an un-itchable itch. It’s like itch fairies flock to that all of those spots you can’t reach like they are tourist hot spots. Thankfully, those days may be over thanks to the efforts of a group of engineers who decided to invent something to make the lives of people who break their arms a bit easier. So they came up with a new design for a cast, one that allows the skin to breathe — plus, it’s totally waterproof! So, now you don’t have to worry about showering with a trash bag on your cast!
A Chicago startup called Cast21 researched the problems associated with plaster casts and tackled them head-on. Jason Troutner, biomedical design engineer Asley Moy, and electrical engineer Justin Brooks all hail from the University of Illinois, and they came up with a breathable, more hygienic, waterproof cast that only takes 10 minutes to fit using a liquid resin that hardens to set the bone in place.
The only time I had to wear a cast was when I fractured my pinky playing basketball. The skin under my plaster cast started inching right away, and I was unable to do a thing about it!
But, soon, those troubles may be a thing of the past, sort of like dial-up and finicky VCRs that chew up your favorite movie.
“We have this radical notion that you can enjoy your healing experience. You don’t need to be restrained from daily activities,” Cast21’s vice president of engineering Veronica Hogg explained to the Daily Mail. According to her, their cast is designed to be removed easier than usual as well and doesn’t need a circular saw.
“Another bonus is that no electricity or water is needed to apply our cast, so it’s very portable. It has potential for use in the military and for at-home first aid,” Hogg highlighted.
Those who saw designer Deniz Karasahin’s prototype for a new cast called “Osteoid” might think it looks just like Cast21’s design, but they are different. In this case, Karasahin’s design was made using a 3D printer (not by letting the liquid resin dry) and uses ultrasound.
Here’s what folks thought about the cast.
And here’s a gallery of everyday people while wearing the Cast21 cast.
These new casts could be a real game-changer for everyone. It’s unclear if the team is working a cast for legs and feet, but we wouldn’t be surprised.
Source: Bored Panda