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A System to Integrate Electrical Stimulation With Robotically Controlled Treadmill Training to Rehabilitate Stepping After Spinal Cord Injury

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4 Author(s)
Tekang Chao ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., California State Univ. - Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Sina Askari ; Ray De Leon ; Deborah Won

A functional electrical stimulation (FES) system was engineered to integrate information from a robotically controlled position during stepping in order to time stimulation to continuous gait information in a rodent model of spinal cord injury (SCI). In contrast to conventional FES systems which have a fixed timing pattern relative to gait cycle onset (i.e., toe off/heel off or paw contact/heel strike), this system allows adaptation of stimulation to a robotically controlled position. Rationale for the system design is presented along with bench-test results verifying the timing of the stimulation with respect to hindlimb position. This robotically timed FES system will enable studies investigating the capability of this FES therapy to encourage rehabilitation by way of spinal plasticity.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 5 )