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Gait phase information provided by sensory nerve activity during walking: applicability as state controller feedback for FES

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2 Author(s)
Strange, K.D. ; Neurokinesiology Lab., Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby, BC, Canada ; Hoffer, J.A.

In this study, the authors extracted gait-phase information from natural sensory nerve signals of primarily cutaneous origin recorded in the forelimbs of cats during walking on a motorized treadmill. Nerve signals were recorded in seven cats using nerve cuff or patch electrodes chronically implanted on the median, ulnar, and/or radial nerves. Features in the electroneurograms that were related to paw contact and lift-off were extracted by threshold detection. For four cats, a state controller model used information from two nerves (either median and radial, or ulnar and radial) to predict the timing of palmaris longus activity during walking. When fixed thresholds were used across a variety of walking conditions, the model predicted the timing of EMG activity with a high degree of accuracy (average error=7.8%, standard deviation=3.0%, n=14). When thresholds were optimized for each condition, predictions were further improved (average error=5.5%, standard deviation=2.3%, n=14). The overall accuracy with which EMG timing information could be predicted using signals from two cutaneous nerves for two constant walking speeds and three treadmill inclinations for four cats suggests that natural sensory signals may be implemented as a reliable source of feedback for closed-loop control of functional electrical stimulation (FES).

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 7 )