Robin Johannes, Abigail Clarke-Sather

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Human hands are made to do everything: grasp objects, communicate, perform daily tasks, and learn. Certain people with difficulties using their hands are affected greatly by spasticity, uncontrolled tightness in hand muscles, and impaired motor function in their hands. Hand spasticity specifically can be caused by several medical conditions including cerebral palsy, stroke, arthritis, and carpal tunnel. Often an individual's hand remains in a clenched fist position causing pain and limited mobility within the fingers. Many products exist on the market that specifically help meet the clinical needs of opening and extending a hand for long periods of time. Individuals can purchase products, but they are usually only used during occupational therapy sessions due to their high cost. The Hand Extender is a wearable designed for participants who struggle with functional use of their hands, and over time the Hand Extender is designed to support and aid their hand in everyday functions. Similar products only come in a few standard sizes, resulting in potentially poorer fit, e.g., commercially available products are not currently sized for the pediatric population or participants with an abnormal hand size. The custom fit glove of the Hand Extender made possible via 3D printed parts accommodates all participant populations with a variety of different hand sizes. The tailored glove also provides more accurate extension due to the better fit. A custom fit 3D Hand Extender was able to accurately fit two adult participants with different sized hands and normal hand function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2022 Design of Medical Devices Conference, DMD 2022
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791885710
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 Design of Medical Devices Conference, DMD 2022 - Minneapolis, Virtual, United States
Duration: Apr 11 2022Apr 14 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2022 Design of Medical Devices Conference, DMD 2022


Conference2022 Design of Medical Devices Conference, DMD 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, Virtual

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Dr. Christine McConnell for expert guidance and Garrett Broemer for 3D printing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by ASME


  • hand extension
  • hand impairment
  • occupational therapy
  • spasticity
  • wearable


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