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Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy

News : Medical
Closed-Loop Stimulation Improves Parkinson's Disease Therapy

A closed-loop stimulation technique developed by University of Freiburg researchers promises fewer side effects for patients with neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

News : Medical
Low-Power Chip Supports Navigation for Visually Impaired

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a low-power chip for processing 3D camera data. Using the device, the MIT team built a prototype of a complete navigation system for the visually impaired.

News : Medical
Mechanical Stimulation Synchronizes Heartbeat Rates

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers have used mechanical stimulation to “train” cardiac cells to beat at a given rate. Direct physical contact with the cardiac cells is not required to synchronize their beating.

News : Medical
Tiny LEDs Shed Light on Neural Pathways

University of Michigan researchers have built and tested neural probes that hold what are believed to be the smallest implantable LEDs ever made. The new probes control and record the activity of many individual neurons, measuring how changes in the activity of a single neuron can affect its neighbors. The...

News : Medical
Researchers Study Biofilm Development on Catheter Materials

New research from the University of Southampton could lead to advanced treatments to prevent blockages and urinary tract infections experienced by many long-term catheter users. Using an imaging technique called episcopic differential interference contrast (EDIC) microscopy, researchers...

News : Medical
Flexible Rehealing Glove Treats Traumatic Hand Injuries

Engineers at the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute (Fort Worth, TX) and The University of Washington (Seattle, WA) have developed a healing glove that delivers needed medicine to an injured hand. The device, known as the Bioengineered Smart-Glove for Regenerative Healing...

News : Medical
3D-Printed Guide Regrows Complex Nerves

Nerve damage is often permanent, and according to the Mayo clinic, regrowth of nerves is very rare. A 3D-printed guide built by University of Minnesota researchers regrows both the sensory and motor functions of complex nerves after injury.

News : Medical
Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Improves Motor Symptoms of PD Patients

A team of Johns Hopkins University scientists discovered that noninvasive brain stimulation temporarily improves motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The Johns Hopkins study also revealed that people with Parkinson's disease are still capable of making...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Engineers Improve Sepsis Treatment Device

An improved blood cleansing device from Harvard University's Wyss Institute mimics the actions of the spleen. The sepsis treatment technology cleanses pathogens and toxins from blood circulating through a dialysis-like circuit.

News : Medical
Implantable Device Improves Optogenetics Methods

An implant built by Stanford University engineers produces light to stimulate nerves of the brain, spinal cord, or limbs in mice. The technology is powered wirelessly, using the mouse's own body to transfer energy. Scientists will use the new optogenetic nerve stimulation methods to investigate a...

News : Medical
Child-Sized Exoskeleton Boosts Mobility

A University of Houston engineer has received funding to create a pediatric exoskeleton, designed to help children with spinal cord injuries and other mobility disorders. The exoskeletons will be customized to grow as the child grows.

News : Medical
Device Maintains Donor Liver Health Outside Body

A sterile medical device preserved the health of a deceased donor liver and allowed the organ to repair itself. The liver was then successfully transplanted to a 43-year-old patient in Ontario. The device, which mimics human physiological functions, is part of a Phase 1 clinical trial at UHN's...

News : Medical
Hydrogel Accelerates Healing Process

An injectable hydrogel from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science helps skin wounds heal more quickly. An instant scaffold created by the material allows new tissue to latch on and grow within the cavities formed between linked spheres of gel.

News : Medical
Brain-Machine Interface Controls Prosthetic Hand

A new algorithm allows a person to use his or her thoughts to grasp a bottle or other object. The non-invasive brain monitoring technique, developed by University of Houston researchers, will help the team understand the neuroscience behind the action of grasping.

News : Medical
New Microscopy Technique Zooms in on Organs

A biomedical engineer at UNSW Australia uses semiconductor technology to view organs of the human body, down to the level of a single cell. The imaging technology, developed by optical and industrial measurement manufacturer Zeiss, was originally created to scan silicon wafers for defects.

News : Medical
Researchers Use Magnetic Fields to Stimulate Brain Tissue

Researchers at MIT have developed a method to stimulate brain tissue using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles. The technique allows direct stimulation of neurons, which could be an effective treatment for a variety of neurological diseases, without the need for...

News : Medical
Robotic Gloves Support Stroke Patients

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have developed a robotic glove prototype for stroke sufferers. The device can be used in homes to support rehabilitation and personal independence.

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
NIH Funding Projects to Develop Assistive Robots

New research in robotics to help with stroke rehabilitation, guide wheelchairs, and assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are some of the projects now being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). This...

News : Medical
Hawking's ACAT Technology Now Open-Source

The Assistive Context Aware Toolkit (ACAT) technology, used by famous physicist Stephen Hawking, is now open-source.

News : Medical
Robotic Sock Promotes Blood Circulation

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore has invented a novel sock that can help to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Using soft actuators, the device mimics the tentacle movements of corals.

News : Medical
New Preservation System Keeps Livers Healthy for Transplant

A new preservation system that pumps cooled, oxygen-rich fluid into donor livers not only keeps the organs in excellent condition for as long as nine hours before transplantation, but also leads to dramatically better liver function and increases survival of recipients, according to a...

News : Medical
Metamaterial 'Bends' Acoustic and Elastic Waves

Sound waves passing through the air, objects that break a body of water and cause ripples, or shockwaves from earthquakes all are considered “elastic” waves. These waves travel at the surface or through a material without causing any permanent changes to the substance’s makeup. Now,...

Features : Medical
Robotic Walker Aids in Stroke Therapy
www.nus.edu.sg

Regaining mobility after a stroke or other neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and Parkinson’s disease is often a struggle. To help these patients regain motor functions, they are usually required to undergo physical therapy sessions. To...

News : Medical
First Ever Mind Control of Two Prosthetic Arms Simultaneously

A bilateral shoulder-level amputee made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Baltimore, MD, this summer when he became the first person to wear and simultaneously control two of the Laboratory’s Modular Prosthetic Limbs. He was able to operate the...

News : Medical
Partnering with Co-robots

Most robots today work in manufacturing facilities where, for safety reasons, they are removed from being in close proximity with humans. But, Georgia Tech robotics researchers believe people and robots can accomplish much more as co-robots, which work beside, or cooperatively with, people. This symbiotic relationship...

News : Materials
‘Electronic Skin’ for Prosthetics Communicates Pressure

While touch may be subtle, the information it communicates can be understood and acted upon quickly. For the first time, scientists are reporting that they have developed a stretchable “electronic skin” that can detect not just pressure, but also which direction it’s coming from....

News : Medical
Stroke Therapy Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

A team of researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, are trying to help stroke patients improve arm movement by using a device called a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) to reduce activity on the healthy side of the brain, so that the stroke-injured side...

News : Medical
Studying How Power Prosthetics Fail

While powered lower limb prosthetics can greatly improve the mobility of amputees, errors in the technology can also cause users to stumble or fall, say researchers at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They are examining what happens when these...

News : Medical
Student Wins Dyson Award for Inflatable Incubator

More than 10 percent of babies worldwide are born prematurely, often requiring costly time spent in an incubator. According to the World Health Organization, 75 percent of deaths resulting from premature birth could be avoided if inexpensive treatments were more readily available across the...

News : Medical
Feeling Sensations Across Prosthetic Limb

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center have discovered that patterns of electric signals sent by a computer into nerves in a patient’s arm and to his brain, can give distinct sensations of touch to the patient’s...

News : Medical
Improving Hand Function After Surgery

Engineers at Oregon State University, Corvallis, have developed an implantable device using a simple pulley mechanism to improve hand function after surgery. They say that this is one of the first instruments ever created that could improve the transmission of mechanical forces and movement while implanted...

News : Materials
Creating Soft Robotics with a Sewing Machine

New stretchable technologies and soft robotics being explored by engineers at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, could lead to innovations such as robots with human-like sensory skin and synthetic muscles, as well as wearable electronics. But to do so, they say, you would need a low-cost, highly...

News : Medical
NASA Robot Inspires Exoskeletons and Rehabilitative Therapy

Robonaut, a human-like robot designed by NASA and General Motors, which was developed to serve astronauts in space, has been on the International Space Station since February 2011. Researchers have tested the robot’s ability to perform dull or dangerous tasks that free up human crew...

News : Medical
Engineering Systems for Special Needs Children

A group of engineers and students at Kansas State University, Manhattan, is developing technology to improve the health and quality of life for children with severe developmental disabilities.

News : Materials
Introducing the Bionic Man

The NIH’s Bionic Man site helps viewers visually explore some of the latest bioengineering creations from research funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. From prosthetics to artificial kidneys, these technologies are changing lives now and in the future.

News : Medical
‘Smart’ Peg Tests Palsy Patients’ Dexterity

While it may look like a game board and users may find it fun to use, there is a serious intent behind a device created by engineering students at Rice University, Houston, TX, to test the abilities of cerebral palsy patients. The DeXcellence platform uses a small peg comfortable enough for a...

News : Medical
Super Fast Robotic Arm Catches Moving Objects

A robot developed by researchers at the at the Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory (LASA) at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) can react on the spot, grasping flying objects thrown at it with complex shapes and trajectories in less than five hundredths of a...

News : Medical
Bionic Human Limbs and Humanoid Robots

Hugh Herr, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab, who designs, creates, and wears bionic prosthetic lower limbs, has become somewhat of a celebrity in this field, and has inspired students to learn more about the technology. “It’s always good to design something people...

News : Medical
Epidural Stimulation Could Combat Paralysis

Exciting news was reported by an international team of life scientists at the University of Louisville, KY; UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; and the Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Saint Petersburg, Russia; who say that epidural electrical stimulation of the spinal cord has allowed four men who’ve been...

News : Medical
Bio-Inspired Robotic Rehabilitation Device

A soft, wearable device that mimics the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the lower leg could aid in the rehabilitation of patients with foot-ankle disorders such as drop foot, said Yong-Lae Park, an assistant professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

News : Medical
Maximizing Mobility with Minimum Energy

Studying how primitive man learned to walk upright, say researchers in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, Corvallis, could lead to improved prosthetic lower limbs. Their findings outline a specific interaction between the ankle, knee, muscles, and tendons that improve understanding of...

Features : Electronics & Computers
Electronic Bodysuit Could Treat Neurologically Impaired

Aspecially-designed elastic bodysuit covered with electrodes, which was designed at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in collaboration with health care and business partners, could be used to help those suffering with brain damage or neurological disorders, such as multiple...

News : Medical
Tongue Stud Used to Control Wheelchair

Powered wheelchair users, who are paralyzed from the neck down, can control their chair by sipping or puffing air into a straw mounted on their wheelchair to execute four basic commands that drive the chair. But, a new assistive technology, called the Tongue Drive System, can allow users to access...

News : Medical
Improving Motor Skills after Stroke

Using a novel rehabilitation device that converts an individual’s thoughts to electrical impulses to move upper extremities, stroke patients reported improvements in their motor function and ability to perform activities of daily living. A multidisciplinary team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison built...

Briefs : Medical
On-Command Force and Torque Impeding Devices (OC-FTID) Using ERF

Various machines have been developed to address the need for countermeasures of bone and muscle deterioration when humans operate over extended time in space. Even though these machines are in use, each of them has many limitations that need to be addressed in an effort to prepare...

News : Materials
Metamaterial May Improve Depression

A new headpiece for brain stimulation technique, designed by engineers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, may considerably improve treatment of tough cases of depression. Computer simulations have shown that the device—a square array of 64 circular metallic coils—could help researchers and doctors...

News : Medical
Anklebot: A Robotic Walking Coach

The ankle is a complex joint, supported by muscle, tendon, and bones, and maintaining stability and locomotion. Characterizing how it works, however, is not so straightforward says a group of researchers from the Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation at MIT, Cambridge, MA.

News : Medical
First Thought-Controlled Bionic Leg Revealed

A team of researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) has revealed clinical applications for the world’s first thought-controlled bionic leg—a significant milestone for lower limb amputees in the rapidly growing field of bionics. RIC's Center for Bionic Medicine developed a system...

Articles : Propulsion
Robotic Exoskeleton Vastly Improves Quality of Life

Worldwide an estimated 185 million people use a wheelchair daily. A company based in Auckland, New Zealand, has developed an innovative robotic technology that helps people with mobility...

News : Medical
September Month-End Industry News

Here is the latest batch of news from the medical products community. Please click the link for more.

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