The AAT Project

Katherine Bomkamp

Age: 21

Developed the Pain Free Socket, holistic prosthetic device that aims to alleviate phantom pain of amputees.

Katherine is known globally for her Pain Free Socket, a holistic prosthetic device that has the potential to eliminate phantom pain in amputees. She invented the Pain Free Socket at 16 and was an Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Finalist.

As a 16-year-old, Katherine couldn't help but notice the horrors of war resonating with returning soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She remembers one man, not much older than her, missing his arms and sitting in the cafeteria.

Those images stuck with her. Katherine listened to their stories and learned that many amputees experienced phantom pain, the feeling of pain in an absent limb. By researching the topic, Katherine found that no medications have been approved for specifically treating phantom pain. Most amputees are prescribed antipsychotics and barbiturates, medicines that can be expensive and highly-addictive.

For a 10th-grade science project, Katherine decided to do something about this. She developed a product that aims to alleviate phantom pain in the world's millions of amputees. She calls this device "The Pain Free Socket." It incorporates thermal-bio feedback into prosthetics.

Katherine is the CEO of Katherine Bomkamp International, LLC, and hopes to invent and commercialize more medical devices in the future.

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