Diabetic foot pressure treatment

Study level

Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr David Forrestal
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Professor Mia Woodruff
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

External supervisors

  • Dr Kevin Tetsworth, RBWH
  • Mr Nick Green, RBWH


Total contact casts are used to heal ulcers by reducing pressure around the wound. The casts are used within the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hosptial (RBWH), Redcliffe, Caboolture and Nambour hospitals to treat patients with foot ulcers resulting from diabetes.

The casts work best if closely applied and moulded to the leg, resulting in a 1/3 reduction in load and a 45% reduction in forefoot pressure but not heel pressure. However, the current method is time consuming and requires multiple visits from patients.

This research project would like to examine what role 3D scanning and 3D printing has in minimising the required patient contact time and the associated high complication rates.

Research activities

Some of the research activities will include:

  • 3D scanning of patients' feet and lower leg
  • 3D printing of bandage or footing casts
  • developing a system to streamline model production.


We aim to achieve the follow outcomes:

  1. 3D scans of the patient’s feet and constructing patient specific models of the feet
  2. 3D printings of patient-specific casts
  3. development of three compression casts being used in a serial rotation of being worn, washed and dried.

Skills and experience

Any experience or skills in 3D scanning, printing and modelling you have will be desirable for our project.



Contact the supervisor for more information.