Design of a magnetorheological prosthetic knee

Eggert Throstur Thorarinsson*, Fjola Jonsdottir, Halldor Palsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The magnetorheological (MR) prosthetic knee, which is the subject of this paper, is a device that has the potential to improve the biomechanical function of amputees. The knee was originally developed by MIT and put in production by Ossur Inc., a leading manufacturer of orthopaedic products. MR fluid is used to control the brake torque of the knee in response to a variable magnetic field. Hence, the stiffness of the knee can be controlled in real time as the amputee walks. This work is a part of a project to create finite element models of the knee, in order to study the effect of different design parameters, such as applied electrical current, electrical resistance, material properties and geometric shape on the magnetic flow. A sensitivity analysis of various design parameters shows variable sensitivity against the mean value of magnetic flux density. The results of the parametric study are then used to optimize the magnetic flow and hence optimize the design of the prosthetic knee with regards to function and efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventNordDesign 2006 Conference - Rejkjavik, Iceland
Duration: 16 Aug 200618 Aug 2006


ConferenceNordDesign 2006 Conference

Other keywords

  • Finite element modeling
  • Optimal design
  • Prosthetic knee


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