Home     Projects     People     Publications     Places


Current Project Titles

Project Titles from Prior Years


Bone & Joint


Spinal Cord Injury



Assistive Technology

Clinical Interface


Goals and Objectives Reached

Capacity Building

Student Projects

Technology Transfer

Differential Pressure Walking Assistance Robot-Assisted Upper Limb Neuro-Rehabilitation

Project Photo Gallery

Individuals older than 65 represented just 4% of the US population 100 years ago. Now they represent 13% and in 30 years will represent 22% of the population. Neurologic and musculoskeletal impairments already impact the quality of life in the elderly greatly. Thus its impact will be even higher in the future.

Neurologic impairments, particularly stroke and spinal cord injury, are a major cause of movement-related disability. Approximately 500,000 Americans suffer strokes each year. Many are left with severe physical disabilities. The cost for treatment, rehabilitation, and care exceeds $20 billion per year. About 9,000 young Americans suffer spinal cord injuries each year and remain paralyzed for life. The total cost to society is greater than $7 billion per year for care and treatment alone, and much more in terms of lost productivity.

Two of the most common skeletal diseases in the elderly are arthritis and osteoporosis. The yearly cost in the US for treating arthritis alone exceeds $55 billion. These diseases and their effect on the quality of life of veterans motivate much of our research.

Our efforts target the development of new strategies and techniques for disease diagnosis, treatment and, ultimately, prevention. Our goal is to develop techniques that will enable persons with neurologic and musculoskeletal impairments to regain the use of their limbs. Our focus is on understanding the way in which the nerves, muscles, and skeletons of the healthy individual are coordinated to accomplish such everyday tasks as standing, walking, reaching, and grasping, and the ways in which this coordination is disrupted in persons with mobility impairments.

We believe that rehabilitation strategies of high impact will arise from scientific understanding of the underlying impairment. Our research includes, therefore, experimental and theoretical investigations of tissue properties and muscular coordination.

The development of new clinical therapeutic techniques requires, at times, the application of emerging technology to rehabilitation. Some problems encountered by individuals with disabilities can be solved with rehabilitation technology targeted for their everyday use.

Button Bar

People Projects Publications Resources Home