VOLUME 24 #2

Current cover


Student title page-students and professor fitting a prosthetic leg on a dog
Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

To Tika, with love

Tika is a meek, 3-year-old Jack Russell mix, who lost one of her front limbs two years ago, after withstanding a 10-foot fall from the top of the steps.

She was adopted shortly after by Vicki Cassman, a UD art conservation professor who has struggled ever since to find a prosthetic for her “tripod wonder.”

While animals with amputations often have partial limbs on which prosthetics can easily attach, Tika does not.

Still, it doesn’t mean a solution isn’t out there.

For months, undergraduates in UD’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Club have have been working to engineer an adaptable, artificial limb for the dog.

“The greatest challenge has been the stability of the socket,” says club president Bretta Fylstra, EG16, who has been leading the initiative to develop a prosthetic limb for Tika and also participates in the Assistive Medical Technologies Club (read more).

Diligently working nights and weekends, she and her fellow students have developed nearly a half-dozen prototypes, though they have yet to find one that connects to Tika’s body in a stable, comfortable way.

“But we’re hopeful,” says Fylstra. “We want to see her run on four legs.”

Above: Students in UD’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Club fit Tika for a prosthetic limb. Photo by Kathy f. Atkinson

Featured Stories About Our Students

Through dance, hope lives

Summer research all-stars

Giving the gift of freedom

  • University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE 19716   •   USA   •   Phone: (302) 831-2792   •   © 2018