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Sensory Feedback for Lower Extremity Prostheses Incorporating Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR)

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2015,29 Sep 2016

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Seattle Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Research Seattle United States

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The purpose of this research is to improve stair descent for lower limb amputees by providing sensory feedback of foot placement. An increasing number of amputees are receiving a nerve transfer surgery, Targeted Reinnervation, that can have profound sensory effects. Touches at the site of the surgery can feel like they are originating from the amputated limb. This capability is an unprecedented opportunity to provide sensory feedback that is intuitive and useful, but sensory recovery after the surgery is not well understood. Therefore the two Specific Aims of this project are to 1 Systematically map and characterize the sensory capabilities of lower extremity Targeted Reinnervation TR sites under tactile stimulation, and 2 Measure the effects of vibrotactile cues of foot placement on stair descent of transtibial amputees. We have created the tactile stimulation apparatus and protocols for both of these aims, including a novel stimulator design and a novel methodology for understanding visual-tactile integration. We have recruited all personnel, received approval to conduct the studies, pending final review by HRPO, and have conducted preliminary studies using control participants for the already-approved sensory studies.

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