Carl Caspers, CPO, has been inducted into the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame in recognition of his many contributions to the prosthetics industry—his life’s work discovered as a result of a traumatic transtibial amputation that he sustained when he was 18. He now holds more than 15 patents for liners, suspension sleeves, and post-operative and volume management products and technology for the prosthetic industry. Caspers also pioneered vacuum-assisted socket technology, the VASS™, in 2001, which his company, TEC Interface Systems, Waite Park, Minnesota, developed. (In 2003 TEC Interface Systems was acquired by Ottobock, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the VASS technology was renamed the Harmony® Vacuum Management System).
“That first prosthesis I had was terrible,” he was quoted as saying in the Minnesota Redwood Falls Gazette. “I just knew there had to be a better way.” This led him to Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, where he pursued an education in O&P.
Caspers and TEC have previously been acknowledged for their work. In 2002 Caspers was name to the Fast Company magazine’s FAST 50 Innovator list and received a Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and in 1995 TEC was named Minnesota Small Business of the Year.