Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Custom insole material for people with diabetes

An EU team developed a new system for assessing the feet of patients with diabetes on an individual basis. In conjunction, the group created new variations of foam material able to satisfy the individual needs of patients.
Custom insole material for people with diabetes
Around 10 % of Europeans suffer from diabetes; in advanced cases, patients develop foot ulceration requiring special footwear. Individually customised shoes offer some alleviation. However, these are not widely available at a reasonable cost and there are no standardised clinical assessment systems.

The EU-funded DIABSMART (Development of a new generation of diabetic footwear using an integrated approach and smart materials) project introduced a new foot assessment system. This work also produced new variations of insole material able to meet manufacturing and clinical requirements.

Such innovations relied on the project's numerical, experimental and mathematical analysis approach. The method integrated all aspects of diabetic footwear, including the clinical and biomechanical. The purpose was to determine the material properties for an insole able to optimally cushion and distribute pressure, thereby preventing injuries to the foot. The insoles are to be customised for each individual.

Customisation involves combining different proportions of the components of polyurethane foam to achieve different stiffness. The approach also allows use of standard injection moulding techniques already in use in footwear manufacturing.

The group satisfactorily manufactured, tested and verified the system.

DIABSMART increased knowledge of the design and use of customised medical insoles. The resulting new techniques promise more effective insoles and better patient care.

Related information


Custom insoles, diabetic, footwear, DIABSMART, smart materials, foot assessment, Polyurethane
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top