Development of a Virtual Reality Gait Rehabilitation System
The goal of this project is to use novel hardware systems to address the current limitations of treadmill based gait rehabilitation and to develop and evaluate a low cost virtual reality gait rehabilitation system. This research will allow us to understand relationship between immersion in virtual worlds, motivation, agency, and biomechanics during rehabilitation using empirical clinical measures and surveys of the patients’ perspective. This projects is underway and has received preliminary funding from the FGCU Office of Research & Graduate Studies 2014 FGCU Multi-Disciplinary Research Initiative. We are currently collaborating with NCH Healthcare and pursuing funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to evaluate the system in a small group of stroke survivors after the initial development is complete.
Biomechanical Gait Analysis in Patients Post-Stroke
This is a randomized controlled trial in collaboration with NCH Healthcare to evaluate the efficacy of different stroke rehabilitation systems. Interventions include traditional overground gait vs treadmill based gait rehabilitation. Evaluation is based on kinematic analysis of gait used data collected with the Qualisys motion capture system. Interventions (therapy) are performed as part of regular care at NCH and evaluation of gait is performed at FGCU so that persons performing the evaluation are blind to the intervention to prevent bias.
Lower & Upper Limb Prostheses Research
This research area is focus of our collaboration with the USF Center for Neuromusculoskeletal Researched and Center for Assistive, Rehabilitation & Robotics Technologies. A large number of studies have been completed in this area, with the focus typically on the performance of different prosthetic devices on a range of tasks. Previous studies have evaluated:
- Microprocessor and Non-Microprocessor Knees in Sitting and Standing
- Evaluation of Compensatory Motions during Activities of Daily Living while using Upper Body Prostheses
- Modeling and Simulation of Upper Body movements during Activities of Daily Living
- Evaluation of the Genium vs C-Leg Microprocessor Knees on various terrains
- Evaluation of Voluntary Opening vs Closing Body Powered Upper Limb Prostheses
- Evaulation of Golf, and other Specialty Prostheses
The purpose of these projects is to support clinical decision making for prosthetist and amputees buy adding to the body of knowledge of the efficacy of these devices. It also provides insight into future device development.