Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy

News : Medical
NSBRI Space Biomedical Research Fellowships Awarded

Five young scientists have received First Award Fellowships from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). Through this two-year program, they will conduct biomedical research with the aim of helping to protect astronaut health during long-duration spaceflights. In addition to...

News : Materials
Artificial Muscle Can Lift 80 Times Its Weight

A research team from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Engineering has created efficient artificial, or “robotic” muscles, which, they say can carry an object 80 times its own weight, and be able to extend to five times its original length when carrying the load—a first...

News : Medical
New Balance Tool to Inexpensively Diagnose Concussion

In the US, there are millions of sports-related concussions yearly, and a large percentage go unreported or undiagnosed because many high school, college, and professional athletes do not report them. Balance tests are the primary method to detect concussion. However, the current means of...

Features : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Treatment for Space Atrophy Finding Application on Earth

The lack of gravity in space reduces the mechanical loading seen by both the muscles and bones of the body, especially those related to standing and moving. The body adapts to reduced loading by losing bone mass and muscle mass. In long-duration space flights this leads to “disuse...

News : Medical
Ultrasound Patch Heals Venous Ulcers

In a small clinical study, researchers at Drexel University, Philadelphia, administered a new method to treat chronic wounds using a novel ultrasound applicator that can be worn like a bandage. The applicator delivers low-frequency, low-intensity ultrasound directly to wounds, and was found to significantly...

Features : Robotics, Automation & Control
R&D Roundup: August

Student Device May Help Avoid Repeated Breast Cancer Surgeries

During a lumpectomy, surgeons can’t immediately tell whether all the cancer cells were removed. The excised tissue must be preserved and analyzed in a time-consuming process. And, because of this delay, one in five patients must undergo a second surgery...

Features : Medical
Brain Retraining Device for Stroke Rehabilitation

Ateam of researchers in the Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) say that they have created the world’s first brain training device, which can detect brainwaves, and use them to control the movement of limbs paralyzed from...

Features : Medical
Sensory Vibrations Get Stroke Victims Moving

Currently, in the United States alone, there are more than 10 million people whose movement is profoundly limited by diseases of and injuries to the brain and spinal cord. About half of these people are so disabled that currently available therapies are not effective in restoring normal movement....

News : Medical
Student Designs New Type of Cast With 3D Printer

A Victoria University of Wellington School of Design student, Jake Evill, in New Zealand, created a 3D printed alternative to the traditional plaster cast for fractured limbs. Called the Cortex Cast, his design is more lightweight, breathable, and hygienic than fiberglass or plaster casts...

News : Medical
Using Sound to ‘See’

Researchers at the University of Bath, UK, say that a device that can train the brain to turn sounds into images could be used as an affordable and non-invasive alternative treatment for blind and partially-sighted people. The vOICe sensory substitution device uses sounds to build an image in the minds of blind people of...

Features : Medical
Low Cost Respiratory Support System for Newborns

The mission of the Rice 360° Institute for Global Health Technologies, part of Rice University, Houston, TX, is to bring together faculty, students, clinicians, and private and public sector partners to design innovative health technologies for poor settings around the world, increase access to...

News : Medical
New Nerve and Muscle Interfaces Aid Wounded Warriors

In the past 13 years, more than 2,000 service members have suffered amputated limbs. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) research with advanced prosthetic limbs controlled by brain interfaces is well documented, but such research is currently limited to quadriplegics....

Briefs : Medical
The Next Generation of Cold Immersion Dry Suit Design Evolution for Hypothermia Prevention

A body at sea is vulnerable to hypothermia, which often leads to loss of life. Hypothermia is caused by the differences between the core body temperature and the surrounding air and seawater temperatures. The greater the differences between the body core...

News : Medical
Orthotic & Prosthetic Companies to Aid Boston Marathon Attack Victims

The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) launched its "Coalition to Walk and Run Again," an effort to aid uninsured and under-insured victims of the April 15th Boston Marathon terror attack. The bombing killed 3 people and left more than 200 injured, several of...

News : Medical
Preventing Shoulder Injuries in Baseball Pitchers

A new 3-D motion detection system could help identify baseball pitchers who are at risk for shoulder injuries, according to a new study by scientists at the Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL. The laptop computer-based system can be used right on the field.

News : Medical
Inexpensive Device to Prevent Infant Brain Damage

When babies are deprived of oxygen before birth, brain damage and disorders such as cerebral palsy can occur. Extended cooling can help to prevent brain injuries, but, in developing nations where advanced medical care is scarce, this treatment is not always available. To address this need,...

Features : Medical
Diaphragm Pacing Helps Patients with ALS Delay Need for Ventilator

An electronic system that stimulates the nerve of the diaphragm muscles received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or motor neuron disease. The system, called...

News : Medical
Restoring Independent Breathing in Patients on Ventilators

Using a device that supplies humidified oxygen is more effective than a technique that reduces positive airway pressure delivered to the lungs to wean patients from a ventilator to breathe on their own, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health. The research...

Features : Medical
Implantable Robotic Arm Controlled by Thought
Chalmers University of Technology,
Gothenburg, Sweden

A team of researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, say that they have created the world’s first implantable robotic arm controlled by thoughts. Prosthetic...

News : Medical
Device Helps Disabled Children Access Tablets

Digital devices can provide games, e-books, and learning apps to everyone who can operate them. But what if you can't work even the easiest of controls? Engineers at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, are working with children who have limited mobility that makes it difficult for them to...

News : Medical
Mind-Controlled Robot Arm Handles Routine Tasks

A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh (UP) School of Medicine and UPMC (Medical Center) are working with a woman with longstanding quadriplegia to accomplish "ordinary" tasks that once seemed impossible. Together, they have demonstrated, for the first time, that a person with...

Features : Medical
Exoskeletons Provide Hope for Those with Paraplegia

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, somewhere between 236,000 to 327,000 people in the US are living with serious spinal cord injuries. About 155,000 have paraplegia. Until now, being able to stand and walk again has been only been a dream for people paralyzed below...

News : Medical
Exoskeleton Provides Hope for Paraplegics

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, somewhere between 236,000 to 327,000 people in the US are living with serious spinal cord injuries. About 155,000 have paraplegia. But being able to stand and walk again is something that may someday come to be realized, say engineers at...

Features : Medical
Creating a Healthier Future

The 10th annual “Create the Future” Design Contest, attracted more than 950 innovative product ideas from engineers and students in 65 countries. The Medical category itself received 92 outstanding entries from 21 countries.

Features : Medical
Honorable Mentions

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best way to prevent the two million annual cases of hospital-acquired infections is by increasing hand hygiene among staff members. Yet the average US hospital has a 40% compliance rate with guidelines.

News : Medical
NASA Robotic Exoskeleton Could Aid Those on Earth

A technology derived from NASA’s Robonaut 2 project could help astronauts stay fit in space and may someday aid paraplegics in walking on Earth. Working with the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola, FL, and engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston, NASA...

Features : Imaging
Advances Abound in Medical Robotics: From ‘Nursebot’ to Surgeon

Authors, filmmakers, and television programs have given us visions of robots serving humanity for most of the past 100 years. Some of the most iconic fictional ones include the benevolent Robby in the 1956 movie “Forbidden Planet,” the chatty C-3PO from all six of the...

News : Medical
Heat-Extraction Glove Improves Performance

Biologists at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, pursuing a model for studying heat dissipation, have created a glove that can rapidly cool down athletes’ core temperatures and dramatically improve exercise recovery and performance.

A version of the heat-extraction glove is currently nearing...

Features : Medical
Project Aims to Improve upon Silicone Rubber Speech Valve

Morgan Technical Ceramics (MTC) (Cleveland, OH) worked with the UK-based University of Hull to develop a new valve used to restore vocal function for patients with throat cancer. The new tracheo-esophageal fistula speech valve uses Zyranox™ bio-compatible yttria partially-stabilized...

News : Medical
Predicting a Fall in Advance

Electrical and computer engineers at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, are developing a technology to predict when a person might fall. They created a small prototype wireless sensor that analyzes posture and gait, and sends an alert when there is a break in routine.

The alert could signal muscle or vision...

News : Medical
Asia Developing Device Regulations

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional economic organization consisting of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam is developing a combined regulatory system for medical devices to cover all member countries.

The ASEAN...

News : Medical
New Prosthetic Implant in Development

Thousands of veterans return to the U.S. with limb amputations, and for many, standard prosthetics are not an option due to skin issues or short remaining-limb length. These amputees require something other than the typical socket-type attachment systems.

Researchers and surgeons from the University...

Features : Medical
Medical Device Uses Musical Lullabies to Help Premature Babies

Research has shown that music has a profound effect on the human body and psyche. The practice of music therapy is based on well-researched clinical and empirical evidence. There is evidence-based proof that music can aid in many different areas, such as pain management, depression,...

News : Medical
NSBRI Soliciting Research Proposals

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) is soliciting ground-based, analog definition and flight definition proposals. NSBRI is soliciting proposals for six of its seven research teams. Topic areas include smart medical systems and technology to refine and validate plug-and-play sensor and...

News : Medical
Smart Suit to Monitor Body Biomechanics

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Boston, MA, received a $2.6 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a smart suit that could improve field soldiers’ physical endurance.

News : Medical
Musical Glove Increases Sense of Touch and Movement

The Beach Boys sang about “Good Vibrations,” but a new wireless, musical glove, created by researchers at Georgia Tech, uses vibrations for the greater good, to help restore sensation and motor skills in people with paralyzing spinal cord injuries that resulted in limited feeling or...

News : Medical
Neurostimulation Devices On the Rise

Medical Design Briefs kicked off 2012 with a feature on neuromodulation and its current and future applications, which range from the therapeutic benefits of deep brain stimulation, to artificial pacemakers. Take a look at the full article here, and you'll quickly see why neuromodulation offers exciting...

News : Medical
Robotic Legs May Help Unlock Secrets of Human Gait

Researchers from the University of Arizona have produced a robotic set of legs that is believed to be the first to fully model walking in a biologically accurate manner. The biological accuracy of the robot could someday help researchers understand how to help spinal-cord-injury patients recover...

Features : Medical
Laser Direct Writing Technique May Repair Damaged Nerves

Injuries to the peripheral nervous system (PNS) are extremely common and affect 1 in 1000 individuals every year. Axon regeneration in the PNS is possible, but typically cannot occur over distances of more than 1–2 mm.

Products : Electronics & Computers
Crimp Terminal

Molex Incorporated (Lisle, IL) has introduced the Mini-Fit® Plus HMC (High Mating Cycle) crimp terminals, suitable for medical equipment manufacturers developing commercially available products such as patient monitors, diagnostic imaging devices, therapeutic machines, and patient handling equipment. They are rated up to 1,500...

News : Medical
A Joint Effort to Improve Joint Rehab

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, affects millions of Americans. Implantable sensor technology and custom-designed cartilage scaffolding systems could greatly improve quality of life for these patients. Researchers at the University of Arizona and three other universities around the world...

Briefs : Medical
Functional Electrical Stimulation Technique May Improve Neural Implants

Electrical implants that shut down excessive activity in brain cells hold great potential for treating epilepsy and chronic pain. Likewise, devices that enhance neurons’ activity may help restore function to people with nerve damage.

News : Medical
Technology Eases Migraine Pain in the Deep Brain

Migraine pain sits at the upper end of the typical pain scale – an angry-red section often labeled “severe.” At this intensity, pain is debilitating. Yet many sufferers do not get relief from – or cannot tolerate – over-the-counter and commonly prescribed pain medications. Recently, a...

Video : Medical
Decoding the Heart

Zeeshan Syed, assistant professor in the University of Michigan Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has led the discovery of subtle but potentially life-saving signals hidden in heart attack patients' EKG histories. The findings could save thousands of lives every year.

News : Medical
Designing a Better Cervical Collar for Accident Victims

Cervical collars were first developed during the Vietnam War to stabilize the heads and necks of accident victims, but research has shown that this device may be overdue for an update. Students at Rice University tested a currently used cervical collar and found that when a patient's neck...

News : Medical
Neurofeedback: Training the Brain to Play Doctor

Neurofeedback — a type of biofeedback in which a person becomes aware of the physiological state of their body, and can manipulate and control this at will — has been proven to be an effective form of therapy for a variety of conditions, such as migraine, epileptic seizures, and ADHD. For...

Briefs : Medical
Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs

Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic...

Features : Medical
“Smart” Sunglasses That Block Blinding Glare

The days of being blinded by glare from the sun, despite the $300 sunglasses straddling your face, may soon be over. Since 2003, Chris Mullin, PhD, and CEO of Dynamic Eye (Pittsburgh, PA), has teamed up with University at Buffalo electrical-engineering professor Albert Titus, PhD, to develop...

Features : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Device Helps Patients Avoid Intubation, Improve Outcomes, Reduce Cost

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a lung disease associated with airflow obstruction. A chronic, debilitating, and sometimes fatal condition, COPD is one of the most common lung diseases, predicted to be the fifth leading cause of disease burden by the year 2020,...

Features : Medical
Engineering a New Face After Craniofacial Injury

Today, surgeons face many limitations when it comes to helping a patient who suffers from a severe craniofacial injury, or an injury pertaining to the skull and the face. Most often a result of cancer or warrelated circumstances, the injury is both psychologically and physically damaging.


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