November 18, 2010 18:28 ET

Preliminary Results From the Center for the Intrepid Indicate Bionic Prosthetic Leg System Can Emulate Metabolic Cost of Normal Walking

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire - November 18, 2010) - Today at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, the Center for the Intrepid announced preliminary results indicating that the PowerFoot BiOM by iWalk allows leg amputees to walk at normal metabolic cost thus allowing an amputee to walk normally.

This is the first prosthetic device funded in collaboration with the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense and TATRC and through the innovation of Dr. Hugh Herr of the MIT Biomechatronics Group, that is clinically shown to replace lost muscle function, allowing amputees to walk with normal metabolic rate and speed.

Currently in early market release by iWalk, the company Dr Herr founded to market the PowerFoot BiOM, preliminary results for the device are ground breaking for the field of prosthetics. "We have seen a significant difference in function in this device over any other prosthetic we have used here at the CFI," said Col. James Ficke, Chairman of orthopedic surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center. "It is the most improvement over conventional prosthetics in the last 20 years," he added.

Promising results indicate that in addition to metabolic cost reduction, the ankle range of motion is increased by nearly 50%, thus actually replacing energy and allowing the amputee to walk in real time vs. the conventional method of storing then returning energy during toe push off. Furthermore, the powered push off actually mimics the action of the calf, Achilles tendon and foot function thus allowing the PowerFoot BiOM to actually replicate the sound side limb and provide greater economy for amputees.

Demonstrating the PowerFoot BiOM were below the knee amputees, Sgt. Jourdan Smith, 29, and Ret. Sgt. Justin Lynn, 29, both of whom were injured during the OIF/OEF conflicts and have been involved in the testing and evaluation of the technology. "I feel like I have my leg back and I can do the things I used to do and not feel any pain or fatigue," said Ret. Sgt. Justin Lynn. "It just feels natural," he added.

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About iWalk
About iWalk: Founded in 2006 and based in Cambridge, MA, iWalk is based on the guiding principles that bionic technologies can normalize human muscular function for people with limb loss and physical disability and improve their quality of life. With the vision and innovation of Dr. Hugh Herr, Chief Technology Officer and founder, iWalk has just released its first product, the PowerFoot BiOM which is the first clinically proven lower leg system to replace the muscle function of the lost limb across all walking speeds and provide immediate terrain adaptation through Biomimetic controls. BiOM is also the first product in the iWalk scientific platform of human normalization through bionic science. For more information please visit

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Tabi King
    (858) 775-2573