Principal Investigator: Warren Dixon
Start Date: June 1, 2018
End Date: March 31, 2021
This project will create new control methods to maximize the effectiveness of a commonly prescribed rehabilitation therapy for individuals with neurological conditions (NCs), including stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) cycling uses an externally applied sequence of voltages to cause the individual’s leg muscles to contract to propel a recumbent cycle. The repetitive, coordinated motions of cycling can help restore limb function. An electric motor is available to augment the person’s own muscles, if needed. This project will determine how to switch between different muscle groups and the motor to ensure desired behaviors, despite differences in muscle strength and endurance between individuals. For example, the project will examine methods to enable an FES cycle to adapt to the individual attributes of a new participant within a known time interval. The results will be validated in populations of individuals with NCs to demonstrate clinical efficacy. This project will advance the national health by improving the quality of life for individuals with NCs. In addition to these direct benefits, the project will introduce top undergraduate students to advanced research methods in this critical area of biomechanics.