Research & Development
Össur is a pioneer of advanced technology where our brand recognition is based on innovative and scientifically proven solutions that deliver effective clinical outcomes. By listening and understanding people’s needs and pushing the boundaries of technology, we continue to create some of the best products and services available in the fields of prosthetics and bracing & supports.
Össur develops prosthetics and bracing & supports, from an idea to a finished product. With every product, the aim is to deliver cost effective medical solutions that provide value for end-users and the healthcare system. When a product is designed, Össur accumulates medical and biomechanical data during the development process to verify product safety and efficacy before launch. Also, to obtain independent clinical evidence for product outcomes as well as health economic data, Össur initiates and promotes clinical studies in cooperation with leading scientists, institutions, and healthcare professionals in the field.
Össur supports open collaboration within the industry and academia. An example of such an initiative is the collaboration between Össur and the Alfred Mann Foundation on the development and licensing of a myoelectric sensor system (IMES®). The solution utilizes implantable sensors that collect signals from the amputee’s muscles and translate those into prosthetic movements. In other words, mind-controlled prosthetics.
Össur makes a significant investment every year in R&D to further advance products and technologies and work on new innovative products for the benefit of all stakeholders.
“Always at the forefront of innovation, Össur keeps up the momentum through significant levels of investment in R&D and highly productive relationships with universities and research partners worldwide. ”
Össur's vigorous commitment to innovation and advanced technologies has helped to give new confidence to millions of people with impaired mobility. From braces and supports that improve stability and relieve pain, to cutting edge prosthetic limbs that offer the closest prospect yet to replicating natural motion, Össur‘s products represent the latest and best in orthopaedic design.
The company‘s continued success owes much to its accumulated expertise in five core competencies: Bionic Technology, Carbon Composites, Silicon, Mechanics and Injection Molding, a knowledge that is increasingly being transferred and applied across all areas of product development to great effect.
Bionic Technology by Össur
For over a decade, Össur has been applying engineering systems, especially electronics, to the study of biological principles. Its goal is to restore the anatomical functions displaced by amputation using intelligent structures in products that can respond in a human-like way. The result is Bionic Technology by Össur, a precise fusion of artificial intelligence and human physiology. The actions of walking, running and even ascending stairs are now closer than ever to natural motion.
Carbon fiber composites are used extensively in the aerospace industry for their superior strength, flexibility and lightness. Through its patented designs incorporating layered carbon fiber, Össur has created prosthetic feet that are able to store and return energy to the user as they walk, improving stability, energy-efficiency and gait. Advanced manufacturing techniques and extensive analysis ensure the layering process is optimized, achieving motion that is proportional to impact and the user's weight. More recently, the beneficial properties of these composites have been utilized by Össur in a wide range of braces.
Validated by decades of medical use, silicone is bio-inert, which means it doesn't react with the skin in any way. It is also extremely durable, easy to clean, and the only material that allows different levels of softness and strength to be incorporated into Iceross liner designs (the interface between a limb and a prosthetic socket). Össur has worked with silicone for close to forty years, developing an extensive and patented knowledge of the material, the best manufacturing processes and applications that go far wider than just liners.
A lengthy history of mechanical expertise and innovation lies behind many of Össur’s products. Incorporating lightweight, strong and durable alloys, products such as mechanical prosthetic knees reflect expert functional design and the use of advanced control systems. This mechanical knowledge continues also to be applied to a wide range of components.
One of Össur’s most prolific platforms, injection molding is widely used in the manufacture of orthopaedic products such as walkers and cervical collars. The Company has patented a number of techniques for over-molding, which creates a more comfortable, anatomically contoured edging for a number of orthopedic applications. Össur’s continuous improvement of design skills in this area and new innovations are increasing the competitive edge of this technology platform.
Functional trade-up through technology
Össur’s proven technology platforms in the field of prosthetics are the foundation for new solutions which are regularly brought to market. Among recent products are those catering for the less active, more reliant amputee, facilitating functional trade-up through technology for this population. These products are specifically designed as complete solutions, aesthetically pleasing and user centric.
Össur also regularly introduces exciting new products within the area of bracing & supports. The Unloader One X for example, is a new addition addition to the Unloader family of osteoarthritis bracing. The Unloader One knee brace has for years been one of Össur‘s top performing products, clinically proven to relieve pain for patients with osteoarthritis, and providing improved quality of life and mobility for its users.
Össur believes that the future of prosthetics lies in providing the user with more direct control of the prosthesis, allowing the amputee to intuitively affect the behavior of their leg or arm. To further advance this vision, Össur signed a milestone agreement with the Alfred Mann Foundation on the development and licensing of a myoelectric sensor system (IMES), a solution utilizing implantable sensors that collect signals from the amputee’s muscles and translate those into prosthetic movements. The focus for the first phase of this research and development initiative will be on upper limb controls. In recent years, Össur has supplemented its upper limb prosthetic offering by launching the i-Limb Wrist, an active wrist rotator that can in the future, along with the i-Limb hand, be controlled through the IMES technology.
In collaboration with external parties, Össur has continued to explore the field of augmenting systems; wearable exoskeletons designed for both medical rehabilitation and industrial applications. Össur is applying existing high-end technology platforms ranging from bracing & supports to prosthetics to further advance the exploration and development in this area.