Skip to content

Creator who turns waste plastic into prosthetic limb joints and house bricks to appear at Expo 2020

The De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) engineer using waste plastic to create building and medical equipment will talk about his research at one of the world’s biggest shows. 

Dr Karthikeyan Kandan has been asked to demonstrate his work into sustainable engineering at Expo 2020, the international innovation festival which takes place in Dubai for six months, starting this October. 


In his role as Associate Professor at DMU’s School of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Dr Kandan has led a team which has created a prosthetic limb socket made from recycled plastic water bottles for amputee patients. 

He found he could grind the plastic bottles down and use the granulated material to spin polyester yarns, which can then be heated up to form a solid yet lightweight material that can be moulded into prosthetic limbs. 

The cost of producing a prosthetic socket this way is just £10, compared to the current industry average of around £5,000 each. 

Dr Kandan and his team have also created a new brick made from domestic plastic waste has been proven to provide 10 times better insulation than traditional bricks made from clay. 

These breakthroughs will be on show at Expo, which starts in Dubai in October. Dr Kandan is also set to host an even talking through his work, at which amputees are set to appear to demonstrate the technology. 


DMU is playing a major role at Expo, which will see countries all over the world present the very best science, technology, art, creativity and innovation they have. 

As founding partner of the UK Pavilion – being run by the Department of International Trade – the university will have a permanent presence at the venue and is set to reveal its programme of speakers, research and other activities later this year. 

Dr Kandan said: I am excited to be going to Expo to showcase accessible recycled material prosthetic socket technologies. 

“It is a huge opportunity and while there I want to focus on networking to generate wider awareness for the newly developed prosthetic socket technologies.” 

Posted on Wednesday 25th August 2021

Search news archive