ASU Rehabilitation Robotics Workshop

the 4th ASU Rehabilitation Robotics Workshop will be supported by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and hosted by Arizona State University

Dates: February 8-9, 2016
Location: Memorial Union, ASU Campus, Tempe

The main theme of this workshop is rehabilitation robotics. However, the workshop will include a wide range of topics aimed at improving quality of life and covering the multidisciplinary field of robotics, including human robot interaction and human motor control. The main goals of the workshop are to discuss the state of handcontrolthe art in rehabilitation robotics and to identify the main challenges in this field.

This workshop is supported by a Piper Health Solutions grant to the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU).

This workshop is open to:

  • Hand_ImageResearchers in the fields of robotics, rehabilitation, assistive devices, and physical human-robot interaction
  • Undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of engineering, medicine, physical rehabilitation, and nursing
  • Clinicians and therapists in neuro-rehabilitation
  • General public

The event is free, however registration is required for admittance to the workshop.

Workshop TIC & Santé

Quels défis technologiques pour améliorer

la qualité de vie de nos ainés ? 

Mercredi 20 Février 2013   – 9h / 16h30

Faculté de Médecine, Salle des Actes.

2 Rue de l’École de Médecine, Montpellier

tic_santé9h – Accueil (Alain Bize, Pierre Baylet, Gilles Halbout)

9h30 – Introduction: “Les maladies chroniques : un enjeu de la médecine personnalisée” (Pr. Jacques Bringer)

9h45 – Session 1: “Robotique d’assistance et prothèses intelligentes” (Philippe Fraisse, Charles Fattal, Andrea ColloAnimateur: Philippe Poignet)

11h – Session 2: “Maladies chroniques et habitat intelligent” (Jacques Demongeot, Bessam Abdulrazak, Mounir Mokhtari, Stéphane Renouard, Animateur: Gérard Dray)

12h – Table ronde: “Comment associer recherche, formation et innovation dans le domaine des « TIC et Santé » ?” (Pierre Baylet, Geneviève Bodet, Daniel Laune, Claude Jeandel, Animateur: Christian Roux)

14h – Session 3: Démonstrations et Posters présentés par les étudiants de la formation Tic & Santé Montpellier (Animateur: Bruno Salgues)

14h45 – Session 4: “Technologies de la Santé, qualité de vie et médecine translationnelle” (Christian Jaurgensen, Yves Burnod, Eric Renard, Alain Faubeau, Animateur: Maurice Hayot)

16h – Conclusion et discussion (Francis Jutand)

site officiel de TIC & Santé Montpellier

hammers, screws and Intramedullary nails

If you study orthopaedics, you’ll know for sure that IM femoral nailthe femur is the longest, heaviest and strongest bone in the human body. One day, by chance, it happens that you see a bar like the one in the picture on the right. Well, maybe you’ll also notice two things: it is as long as your femur bone and it has more or less the same curvature. With a bit of fantasy and science fiction mood, you could even get to figure out a strange surgery where such long bars are plugged into the bones of some patients in order to strengthen their skeleton and create an army of solid soldiers.

There’s no need to invent anything like that, since we are talking about a surgery that already exists (but not for military purposes). Intramedullary nailing consists in forcing a metal nail (or rod) into the medullary cavity of a bone. Normally, IntraMedullary (IM) nails are employed to treat fractures of long bones of the body. Nowadays, this surgery is regarded as the standard of treatment for both femoral and tibial shaft fractures.

Let’s focus on an IM femoral nail. What about its surgery?

First, the surgeon makes use of a Reamer. Wikipedia defines it as a “metalworking tool used to create an accurate sized hole“.  The medical version of this device is actually employed to hollow out the center of the medullary canal of the femur, by accessing it from the top (next to the pelvis bone). This doesn’t affect too much the bone solidity and is necessary when the medullary cavity is not continuous (for example, in the case of broken leg injuries).

Once the femur has been properly drilled, an intramedullary nail is tapped into place. This means that a hammer is used to push the rod down into the hollow medullary cavity. In a sense, this action recreates a well-defined medullary cavity in the case of displaced or unstable fractures. Moreover, it obviously provides stabilization for the healing bone (that starts growing again in a proper “shape”).

Finally, screws are usually placed in the head of the femur to secure the nail and prevent its collapse or rotation. During the progressive return to activity, the leg of the patient will take benefit from the fact that the loads will be shared by both the healing bone and its solid metal core. This leads also to a faster rehabilitation period (which requires a first non-weight bearing stage followed by specific exercise programmes).

hammer IM nail

After the implantation, the intramedullary nail is usually left inside the bone forever. In some cases, the patient may develop some long-term complications that cause pain and general ache at the insertion site. In such cases, a second surgery might be necessary to remove the IM nail from the recovered bone. Wikipedia gives us some interesting data about long-term complications of IM nailing for the femur, that “may include persistent or permanent knee pain (present in 73.2% of patients), atrophy of the calf muscle (27.3%), atrophy of the quadriceps (27.3%), and arthritis (35.4%)“.

The following image shows the femoral fracture (A) and the IM nail inserted all along the bone (B), the relatively small scar on the patient’s leg (C) and the recovered bone (D, E).

IM nailing steps

sources: Wiki, Journal of Orthopaedic Science and

The world’s most advanced Prosthetic Hand

bebionic3 is the culmination of many years of development and is the most advanced commercially available bionic hand in the world today.

Reliable, speedy and versatile, bebionic3 is a myoelectric prosthetic hand that can be configured to handle almost any everyday life activity. It is designed to be stronger and more durable than other hands available, meaning that it can be worn daily, and withstand the stresses and strains of constant use.

The arm uses some of the most advanced medical technology to date. It consists of two electrodes in a socket, with one connected to the biceps and the other linked to the triceps. Electronic impulses from the muscles and nerve endings create a current, which triggers movement in the hand. So, for example, a biceps tensioning closes the hand while a triceps action opens it again.

Moreover, thanks to the programming software bebalance, which is supplied with every prosthetic hand, bebionic3 can be managed, monitored and configured wirelessly, using smart electronics and easy-to-use flexible interfaces. With bebalance, it is possible to customise everything about bebionic3 quickly and easily. From tweaking grip power and speed, to selecting and ranking the different patterns, it is possible to set up the prosthetic hand to meet the exact desired requirements. Working alongside a clinician, bebalance can also be used as a training aid to assess and develop the patient’s ability to use the device. The clinician will be able to modify the operating thresholds and change signalling features, to ensure that the hand fits the patient’s needs. The software is also available for free download.

The bebionic3 prosthetic hand has been designed to look as real as possible, with a rounded shape and profile that gives the hand a natural appearance, especially when covered with one of the available lifelike silicone skins. Soft and durable, these gloves are easy to remove and clean.

They are available in 19 different lifelike colour shades, but additional detailing on the palms, knuckles, nails and joints can be added in order to enhance the natural appearance of the hand.

When we created bebionic, we wanted to […] transform the lives of amputees worldwide, and help them to regain independence and control in their everyday lives.

Have a look at Nigel Ackland’s experience:

sources: this website and this website

accepted for publication


Towards a Dynamic Tibial Component for Postoperative Fine-tuning Adjustment of Knee Ligament Imbalance


Andrea Collo, Shaban Almouahed, Chafiaa Hamitouche, Philippe Poignet, Eric Stindel

Accepted for Publication at:

BIODEVICES 2013 – 6th International Conference on Biomedical Electronics and Devices (conference official website)

the Patella: some hints

The patella (also known as knee cap) is a thick, circular-triangular bone which articulates with the femur and covers and protects the anterior articular surface of the knee joint.

It is the largest sesamoid bone in the human body. In the adult the articular surface is about 12 cm2 and covered by cartilage, which can reach a maximal thickness of 6 mm in the centre at about 30 years of age.

The patella is attached to the Quadriceps tendon (of the quadriceps femoris muscle), which contracts to extend/straighten the knee. The vastus lateralis and vastus medialis are attached to lateral and medial borders of patella respectively. The vastus intermedialis muscle, not showed in this picture, is attached to the base of patella.

The patella is stabilized by the insertion of vastus medialis and the prominence of the anterior femoral condyles, which prevent lateral dislocation during flexion. The retinacular fibres of the patella also stabilize it during exercise.

The primary functional role of the patella is knee extension. The patella increases the leverage that the Quadriceps tendon can exert on the femur by increasing the angle at which it acts.

Patellar problems are among the most common causes of knee pain. This disease may be associated with other symptoms, such as instability or giveaway, dislocation, catching, grinding (crepitation), and/or swelling. These symptoms may present spontaneously or following injury (such as subluxations, blows to the front of the knee etc.). In general terms, patellar problems can be organized as:

  1. Pain alone – “patellofemoral syndrome”,
  2. Pain from malalignment – tilt and/or displacement,
  3. Instability – subluxation and dislocation,
  4. “Wear and tear” – arthritis,
  5. Other problems – synovial plica, tendonitis, bursitis, Osgood Schlatter’s disease, etc.

Surgery is rarely necessary, and must be carefully considered. For example, for the “pain alone” case, surgery is rarely indicated since it may even make pain worse. In these terms, surgery is best used as a last resort, after all other techniques fail (normally: conservative care trials).

Arthroscopy is the very best way to evaluate the patella and surrounding portions of the knee joint. Surgery will vary depending upon the type of patellar problem.  Of course it has risks, such as infection, stiffness, continued instability, weakness, pain, blood clots, fracture, impaired bone healing, etc. Recovery ranges from 6 weeks to 6 months, or even longer, depending upon the type of surgery, healing rates and limitations, and patient rehabilitation and efforts.

sources: two websites, this one and this one

Functional Rehabilitation Robotics: the ‘mPower 1000’ arm brace

The mPower 1000 is a powered arm brace that fits like a sleeve on a person’s arm. The arm brace has myoelectric sensors that sit on the skin’s surface and detect even a very faint muscle signal. When a person with a weak or partially paralyzed arm tries to move their arm and a muscle signal fires, the motor in the mPower 1000 engages to assist in completing the desired movement. In helping achieve desired movement, the device can be worn as a functional aid, used during exercise to maintain gains or applied  during rehabilitation to facilitate Repetitive Task Practice that re-teaches arm movement to the brain.

The mPower 1000 is based on technology developed at MIT, and is lightweight and portable. It has on-board controls for easy use and built-in Bluetooth capability for communication with external applications and systems. The mPower 1000 is for use in the home and in clinical settings. It is intended to increase arm movement for individuals affected by brain injury such as stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy (CP), muscular dystrophy (MD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

source: this website