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2015 News Archive

Get Ready for the World’s First Cyborg Olympics
18 Dec 2015
Michael McClellan flashes a thumbs-up sign as he speeds by on a recumbent tricycle, breathing hard but smiling behind dark sunglasses. He pedals along a paved path that loops through a leafy park in Cleveland, passing office workers enjoying alfresco lunches on a warm June day. They chew their sandwiches, oblivious to the guy on the trike. They have no idea that McClellan is paralyzed from the waist down, and that they’re watching something extraordinary. It’s a training session for one of the world’s first competitive cyborg cyclists. Read more...

Crain's 40 Under 40: Jeffrey Capadona
21 Nov 2015
Jeffrey Capadona is trying to find better ways to connect computers to the human brain. But come on, is he really smart enough to do that? I mean, the guy got a C on his biology final back when he was a pre-med student at St. Joseph’s College in Indiana. Read more...

A Prosthetic Hand That Can Feel

16 Nov 2015
Igor Spetic, 49, lost his right hand in a work related accident five years ago. But on Oct. 9, he got to bring home an innovative prosthetic hand for the first time, one that not only has more precise gripping, but gives him back his sense of touch. The hand was created by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, which was granted $4.4 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for their work creating a prosthetic hand that can feel. Read more...

Developing Objective Functional Metrics for Advanced Upper Limb Prosthetics
21 Oct 2015
Prosthetic limb technology has advanced significantly in recent years, but there is no standardized set of metrics to evaluate these technologies. This lack of objective information leaves insufficient evidence to guide research and medical decision-making. It also hinders the ability to communicate benefits to patients and demonstrate improved outcomes to insurance payers. Read more...

VA APT Researcher Receives Funds From The American Heart Association To Improve Treatment For Stroke Victims

Ela Plow, PhD, a researcher with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) and a staff member at the Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute, received a $ 154,000 award from the American Heart and Stroke Association. The newly funded research project is entitled “Novel Brain Stimulation Therapies in Stroke Guided by Expressions of Plasticity.” The application was successful on the first try and received a 1.72 percentile. Read more...

APT Center Researcher Receives Award To Evaluate Vascular Access Techniques
A research team led by Steve Majerus, Ph.D., a researcher with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) and with Case Western Reserve University won a $90,000 research award from VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Program. The award will fund a two-year research program entitled, “Real-time monitoring device for vascular signals.” Read more...

VA APT Researcher Publishes Original Research in August Journal of Applied Biomechanics
Authored by Musa Audu, PhD, the published article is entitled, “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Contributions to Seated Balance in the Sagittal and Coronal Planes: Implications for Trunk Control after Spinal Cord Injury.” The article details Dr. Audu’s research study, which tested passive and active properties of the human trunk in both able-bodied (ABD) and spinal-cord injured (SCI) volunteers. The objective was to uncover the main physiological mechanisms that mediate seated balance in ABD individuals and how these mechanisms were affected by spinal cord injury. Such information would be invaluable in designing rehabilitation devices to alleviate the effects of SCI in reducing the independence and community participation of the affected individuals. The results showed that spinal cord injury leads to a systematic reduction in the extrinsic characteristics, while most of the intrinsic characteristics were rarely affected. Read more...

VA APT Researcher Receives DARPA Award to Provide Natural Sensation for Lower Limb Amputees
The Defense Advance Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded researchers at Case Western Reserve University, the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (LSCVAMC) and the Cleveland Clinic a $780,000 contract to explore new methods for restoring natural sensation of foot-floor contact and joint loads to lower limb amputees. Entitled “Natural Sensation for Lower Limb Amputees,” the project will establish the feasibility of re-establishing natural perceptions of how the trans-tibial or trans-femoral limb prostheses interact with the environment that are indistinguishable from that of the intact limb to allow users to maintain balance, prevent falls and negotiate complex and unpredictable environments, without conscious attention or even in the dark. The18-month study aims to leverage the many recent technical advances in neural and prosthetic technologies resulting from various projects taking place in Cleveland under the auspices of the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence. Read more...

VA APT Researchers Receive Large-Scale DARPA Awards
Three researchers with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) have won major contracts from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Together the three awards comprise a significant portion of DARPA’s annual award budget. Read more...

VA APT Researcher Receives Half Million Dollar Award
Kath Bogie, D.Phil., a Principal Investigator with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) was recently awarded $561,850 from the Department of Defense (DOD). The award will fund research development of a personalized model for pressure ulcer prevention acutely following spinal cord injury, focusing on biomarkers of muscle composition and resilience. Read more...

VA APT Researchers Receive Career Development Awards
Two researchers with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) have won major awards from the VA’s Career Development Program. These awards provide mentoring for junior researchers so they can learn from renowned, experienced VA researchers. Awardees from this program have become national and international leaders in their research fields. Awards are provided in all areas of VA's research enterprise: biomedical laboratory, clinical science, health services, and rehabilitation research. Read more...

VA APT Center Administrator Receives Prestigious Award from Federal Asian Pacific American Council
Vi Huynh, Director of Operations at the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) was recognized for Excellence in Individual Achievement from the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC). The purpose of the award is to acknowledge individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the advancement of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and the promotion of Diversity/Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal and District of Columbia government workforce and AAPI communities. Read more...

APT Center Researcher Received National Science Foundation Award
Philip Feng, Ph.D., a researcher with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) and assistant professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), has won a $500,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Designated as a Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER), the funds will be used for Dr. Feng’s five-year project, entitled “Dynamically Turning 2D Semiconducting Crystals and Heterostructures for Atomically-Thin Signal Processing Devices and Systems.”Read more...

Dr. Margot Damaser Inducted into AIMBE's Prestigious College of Fellows
Dr. Margot Damaser, Director of Research and Scientific Affairs for the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Full Staff member, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research Institute and Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, and Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), was appointed to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) as announced at the Induction Ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. on March 16, 2015.Read more...

APT Center Researchers Publish Stand-To-Sit After Paralysis Research in JRRD
Sitting down is not as easy as it looks. While standing, and stepping movements can be restored to people paralyzed as a result of spinal cord injury by contracting the paralyzed hip, knee, and ankle muscles with electrical stimulation, the stand-to-sit (STS) maneuver involves eccentric contractions of the quadriceps to control lowering of the body to the seated position. Such controlled eccentric contractions are difficult to achieve with stimulation alone and present unique challenges to the design and clinical application of lower-limb neuroprostheses and other assistive technologies. Read more...

APT Center of Excellence Renewed for Another 5 Years
The Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been renewed by for another 5 year grant cycle that will enable continued pursuit of original, high impact rehabilitation research through 2019. This is third renewal period for the program, which began in 2005. Read more...

Artificial hand for amputee is wired to 'feel'
Amputee who lost his hand in an industrial accident is fitted with an artificial hand which, when wired to his nervous system, can actually "feel" and "touch." Read more...

Can modern prosthetics actually help reclaim the sense of touch?
Prosthetic limbs have long been clunky, acting more as appendages than extensions. But modern technology is now helping amputees rediscover their sense of touch. Miles O’Brien, who lost his own arm in an accident last year, takes a look at new advances in the field. Watch the video...

 

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