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Functional Electrical Stimulation

Kath Bogie, DPhil, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Wound treatment and prevention, biomechanics of wheelchairs and seating for people with limited mobility.

Dr. Bogie’s research program encompasses both basic science studies to develop improved methods for the use of surface electrical stimulation in wound treatment and clinical studies to evaluate an implanted stimulation system to prevent pressure ulcers in wheelchair users. A primary goal of her research in the area of wound treatment is to develop a rational methodology for the treatment of wounds using electrical stimulation. The initial application would be in the field of chronic wounds, such as pressure ulcers. This technique has been used by therapists clinically but results have been rather hit and miss—mostly because nobody has established the underlying mechanism, i.e. what is going on in the stimulated wound to enhance healing. The range of treatment and stimulation paradigms that has been used is huge. We are currently working on both in-vivo and animal studies in this area. In the area of pressure ulcer prevention, Dr Bogie’s group is evaluating the safety and efficacy of novel implanted mini-stimulation devices, which have the potential to provide long-term improvement of tissue health. This study involves pre-clinical testing of the system prior to a pilot clinical trial.

P. Hunter Peckham, PhD, Professor

Research Interests

Control of prosthetic/orthotic systems, functional electrical stimulation for restoration of function in spinal cord injury patients.

The major area of Dr. Peckham’s research is in rehabilitation engineering and neural prostheses. Research effort focuses on functional restoration of the paralyzed extremities in individuals with spinal cord injury. Along with collaborators, Dr. Peckham has developed implantable neural prostheses that utilize electrical stimulation to control neuromuscular activation. They have implemented procedures to provide control of grasp-release in individuals with tetraplegia. This function enables individuals with central nervous system disability to regain the ability to perform essential activities of daily living. Dr. Peckham’s present efforts concern the integration of technological rehabilitation and surgical approaches to restore functional capabilities. He is currently working on an advanced neuroprosthesis that employs implantable sensors for internal control and regulation of movement.

Ronald Triolo, PhD, Professor

Research Interests

Rehabilitation, FNS, human movement analysis, orthotics and prosthetics, electromyography, neural control and clinical trials of assistive technology.

Dr. Trolo’s research encompasses rehabilitation engineering, biomechanics, control of posture and balance, bipedal locomotion and gait analysis, and seated ergonomics. He investigates applications of functional electrical stimulation (FES) for exercise, standing, and walking mobility and trunk control in persons paralyzed by spinal cord injuries (SCI). Active projects include: 1) clinical evaluation of implanted neuroprostheses for standing; 2) automatic control of standing and seated balance; 3) ambulation after incomplete SCI; 4) pressure sore prevention; 5) seated posture, reach, and wheelchair function; and 6) selective neural interfaces. The more basic aspects of his research focus on the biomechanics of human movement, dynamic modeling of the musculoskeletal system, and advanced control systems for regulating posture with FES. In these NIH-funded projects Dr. Triolo has successfully developed a fully three-dimensional anatomically based computer model of human bipedal stance that includes the pelvis, bones, joints, and muscles of the lower extremities. Dr. Triolo has also constructed a realistic model of the kinematics of the spine and the moment-generating capacities of six major muscles of the trunk. His most recent R01 focuses on the design, optimization, and clinical testing of stimulating nerve cuff electrodes for fascicular selectivity in mixed peripheral nerve trunks.