New Funding for the Neuro-Mechanical Exoskeleton

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Artist drawing of the neuromuscular gait assist device

The simple act of walking for stroke survivors is often compromised by muscle weakness, lack of joint coordination, or increased tone which causes toe dragging, poor stability, and increased risk of falls. Limited ability to walk can affect a Veteran’s work, social activities, role as a family member, ability to help others, and recreational activities in the community. The objective of this 4-year, $1.2M VA Rehabilitation Research and Development (RR&D) Merit Review is to implement and test a neuro-mechanical gait assist (NMGA) device that combines bracing with motorized knee joint and surface stimulation to correct impaired gait. The anticipated outcomes are improved gait stability and swing knee flexion, thus, increasing safety, preventing falls, and leading to improved quality of life and participation in the community. This funding was awarded to Principal Investigators Rudi Kobetic, MSBE and Ronald Triolo, PhD with Nathan Makowski, PhD and Stephen Selkirk, MD, PhD serving as Co-Investigators.