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Closed-Loop Recording-Stimulation System for Accelerating Recovery After Musculoskeletal Injury

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[Technical Report, Annual Report]

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Combat and training related arm injuries often paralyze one or more muscles and impair movement. Nerve damage leads to poorly functioning muscles, which degenerate overtime. In this proposal, we will develop non-invasive technology that will help prevent muscle wasting, exercise functioning muscles, and speed up recovery. This technology addresses the following Focus Areas 1 accurate diagnosis of neuromusculoskeletal injuries 2 developing objective support tools to enable assessment of function and performance during treatment 3 optimization and acceleration of the recovery and restoring Warfighter performance after limb trauma or loss. Mathematical models of anatomy capture how muscles cause motion in the presence of external forces, such as gravity. Unfortunately, considering only motion without calculating the forces causing this motion, as often done in clinical practice, is insufficient for the understanding of how well the arm functions or what goes wrong when it does not function as needed. This is because even in a seemingly relaxed arm, muscles are often co-activated so that their forces counterbalance each other around the joints. Thus, muscles do a lot with no visible motion. Therefore, the critical need is to use the information from detailed mathematical models of muscle forces and of their interaction with the forces in the world in the rehabilitation of injured muscles. The long-term goal of this project is to develop automated diagnostic and treatment systems for the assessment and rehabilitation of movement deficits after arm injury. The focus of this proposal is to develop the technology for predicting intended motion from the activity of undamaged muscles and inducing contractions in paralyzed or underused muscles using a high-density electromyographic hdEMG technology for neuromuscular electrical stimulation ES.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Weapons Effects (Biological)

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[A, Approved For Public Release]