Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Brendan O'Toole, Co-Chair

Second Committee Member

Edward Neumann, Co-Chair

Third Committee Member

Mohamed Trabia

Fourth Committee Member

Woosoon Yim

Graduate Faculty Representative

Janet Dufek

Number of Pages



Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFOs) are used by individuals presenting with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) to assist with improving gait. Mitch Warner, CPO, has developed a composite AFO made from woven carbon-Kevlar and carbon fiber lamina. The overall goals of the research are to characterize the HELIOS brace and to determine its effect on the gait of CMT subjects. Human motion analysis, experimental mechanical testing, and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) are used to gain a better understanding of how the materials and geometric design of the HELIOS AFO contribute to gait.

Human motion experiments are performed to determine the relationship between ground reaction forces and strain measurements. Experimental mechanical tests replicate brace deformation observed during the gait study and provide the force applied to the brace to produce the measured strains during the human tests. In addition, the amount of energy storage and return can be calculated from the force vs. displacement curves of the experimental tests. An FEA model is developed to determine how the materials can affect the energy storage properties.


Ankle foot orthosis; Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; Composite; Energy storage and stiffness; Finite element analysis; Gait in humans; Human mechanics; Human motion ground reaction forces; Motion study; Orthopedic apparatus; Orthopedic braces; Strain gage


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Mechanical Engineering

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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