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2016 News Archive

Watch the Highlights of the Most Futuristic Version of the Olympics
21 Dec 2016
The Cybathlon is where athletes with disabilities use robotics to compete. Watch these videos if you want to be inspired. Not even being paralyzed has stopped these folks from racing. Read more...

Cleveland contingent wins gold, spreads awareness at inaugural Cybathalon
13 Dec 2016
A Cleveland-based group of researchers and athletes recently harnessed an innovative technology - along with a nearly superhuman will to win - to take home gold at the world's first "cyborg games." Read more...

VA APT Investigators License New Blood Clotting Technology to Cleveland-Based Company, Xatek
07 Dec 2016
Investigators at the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) and professors at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), including Drs. Pedram Mohseni, Evi Stavrou, Michael Suster and Umut Gurkan, have developed a portable sensor that can assess the clotting ability of a person’s blood 95 times faster than existing methods... Read more...

CWRU’s New Portable “ClotChip” Will Make Blood-Clotting Testing Faster
Dec 2016
A team of Case Western Reserve University researchers has developed ClotChip, a portable device that needs only a drop of blood to accurately present clotting results in the emergency room, physician’s office, or field. Taking about 15 minutes, it’s up to 95 times quicker than current methods. Read more...

Filling need for fast and accurate assessment of lood’s ability to clot
05 Dec 2016
Case Western Reserve University researchers have developed a portable sensor that can assess the clotting ability of a person’s blood 95 times faster than current methods—using only a single drop of blood. Even better, the device provides more information about the blood than existing approaches.... Last week, XaTek, a new Cleveland-based company, licensed the technology for the device—called ClotChip—with a goal of... Read more...

Case Western Reserve University Licenses New Sensor Technology to Company Pursuing Fast-Track FDA Approval
05 Dec 2016
Case Western Reserve University researchers have developed a portable sensor that can assess the clotting ability of a person’s blood 95 times faster than current methods—using only a single drop of blood. Even better, the device provides more information about the blood than existing approaches. Read more...

Device Aims to Save Lives in Emergency Rooms
04 Dec 2016
Severely injured or critically ill patients with blood clotting disorders can die while their doctors wait for lab results in emergency situations. But now, physicians at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, along with a team of engineers have developed a hand-held microsensor called the “ClotChip” to eliminate the wait. Listen to Dr. Evi Stavrou's interview here.

Studies Advance a More Personalized Approach to Treatment
03 Dec 2016
Handheld Device Offers Rapid, Comprehensive Assessment of Blood Clotting. With less than a drop of blood, a prototype for a portable, disposable sensor provides a complete report on a patient’s ability to clot blood in less than 15 minutes. The unique device, called ClotChip, provides a rapid, point-of-care assessment of the integrity of clotting factors and platelet activity. Read more...

A Hand Instead of a Tool: New Prosthetics Offer Increased Touch-Sensitivity
15 Nov 2016
Touch-sensitive prosthetics are unarguably a life-changing development. For amputees, the prospect of being able to experience not just sensation with their prosthetics, but the level of intensity of the sensation as well, is powerful and infinitely useful. A team of scientists is making great strides in providing that very experience to amputees in a study called, The neural basis of perceived intensity in natural and artificial touch, published in October 2016 in Science Translational Medicine. Read more...

Morgan Hill man wins gold medal in global games
10 Nov 2016
Morgan Hill’s Mark Muhn is the world’s fastest paraplegic cyclist, and he has the gold medal to prove it. Muhn and his wife Carol traveled to Zurich, Switzerland in early October so Mark could compete in the inaugural Cybathlon, an international athletic competition for physically disabled individuals using assistive technologies. Read more...

Artificial Hand Makes It Possible For Amputees To Feel Touch, Squeeze Again
27 Oct 2016
A research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine shows that the nervous system has the capacity to encode the intensity of tactile perception. The work continued the research suggesting that different patterns of electrical signals give amputees familiar sensations, such as the touch of a cotton ball or the press of the tip of a ball-point pen. Read more...

How Hacking Neural Networks Can Help Amputees Flawlessly Crack an Egg
26 Oct 2016
Cracking an egg is challenging—apply too much pressure and the shell shatters, apply too little and it won’t break. For amputees, such tasks that involve “just right” amounts of pressure are next to impossible because of the body’s inability to receive feedback from prosthetic devices. Now, new research is helping two men with amputations feel tactile pressure,... Read more...

Insight into neural language enables amputees to discern light touch to intense pressure

26 Oct 2016
Walking through a busy store, Keith Vonderhuevel confidently held his 5-year-old granddaughter's hand with his prosthetic hand. Feedback in the form of electrical pulses that mimic pressure, told him how intensely he grasped her hand. "And I can feel when she yanks her hand out," Read more...

Neuroscience of Touch Supports Improved Robotic and Prosthetic Interfaces
26 Oct 2016
Pressure—the physical quantity of an experience of touch—is a fundamental dimension of human perception, conveying to the brain not just that the skin is in contact with something, but also how intense the contact is. That awareness is what enables people to, for instance, gently but securely handle an egg without squeezing so hard that the shell cracks. Read more...

Prosthesis research to help TBI and stroke patients receives $1.65 million in Department of Defense funding
25 Oct 2016
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and University of Kansas have received a $1.65 million Department of Defense grant to continue developing a neural prosthesis aimed at helping those who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) or stroke to regain motor function. Read more...

The first Cybathlon pushed the limits of bionic technology
20 Oct 2016
Superhumans: Inside the world's first cyborg games - Episode 5. ndre van Rüschen slowly climbed a five-step ramp at the end of his race. With a black processor strapped to his back and leg supports on either side of his lower limbs, he stayed focused on the body-machine coordination that was keeping him upright. Read more...
Watch the Engadget video here.

The Cyborg Olympics: In Bike Race, Electrodes Jolt Paralyzed Legs Into Action
14 Oct 2016
Mark Muhn is used to watching from his wheelchair as his kids win trophies for their achievements on the sports field. He’s been in that wheelchair since 2008, when a skiing accident crushed his spine and left him paralyzed from the chest down. Last Saturday, though, Mark was the one on the podium with a gold medal draped around his neck. Read more...

World’s First Cybathlon Points to a Bright Future for Powered Prosthetic Technologies

13 Oct 2016
This week the world’s first Cybathlon was held in Zurich, Switzerland, involving 66 teams representing many countries from around the world. It’s similar to the Paralympics, but instead of being purely a contest pitting athletes against each other, the Cybathlon is also a competition of technologies. Read more...

Cybathlon: Battle of the bionic athletes
10 Oct 2016
Bionic arms, robotic legs, powered exoskeletons, brain-controlled computer interfaces and supercharged wheelchairs - all took centre stage to compete at this weekend's Cybathlon. Read more...

All systems go for the Cybathlon
07 Oct 2016
More than 70 teams from 25 countries will compete in the Cybathlon tomorrow, Saturday 8 October. The competitors are gradually arriving in Zurich, armed with high-tech gadgets and full of energy and excitement. In addition to victory at the Cybathlon, all are hoping that the assistive technology will soon be further improved. Read more...

An Interview with Team Cleveland - Cybathlon Competitors
07 Oct 2016
Team Cleveland was interviewed by Michael Sanders of NTI, Inc the day before the Cybathlon. Hear their interview here.

Team Cleveland Prepares for 'Cyborg Games'
29 Sep 2016
Next week, a team of scientists, engineers and medical staff from Northeast Ohio will pack their bags and prepare to jet to Zurich, Switzerland, for the first ever Cybathlon. Dubbed 'Team Cleveland', the group is set to face off against teams from all over the world in the Olympics-style competition. Consisting of six disciplines, the competition highlights assisted technology. Hear more...

Paralyzed man regains use of legs through 'cyborg' tech
28 Sep 2016
A Northern California man who is paralyzed from the waist down can stand again thanks to an experimental surgery. Roseville’s Michael McClellan, 56, was paralyzed in a dirt bike accident in 2009. "The bike collapsed on the joining bank and thrust me down on the seat with enough force to burst my T-11,” McCLellan said. Read more...

‘Cyborg’ nerve implants help paralyzed patients pedal
26 Sep 2016
Michael McClellan pedaled a stationary bike in his Roseville apartment last week, his paralyzed legs thrusting forward in a cycling motion as he wiped the sweat from his brow. He held two remote controllers – one for the television playing the afternoon news and another for the cutting-edge machinery controlling his lower body. Read more...

Olympic-Style Competition To Showcase Use of Advanced Assistive Devices
23 Sep 2016
While much of the world’s attention this past summer was on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, a small team from Cleveland has had their eyes set on a fundamentally different kind of athletic competition for human-machine teams. This first-of-its-kind event, the international Cybathlon, features contests for people with disabilities using assistive technologies and will take place Oct. 8 in Zurich, Switzerland. Read more... 

A bike accident left him paralyzed; electricity let him ride again

20 Sep 2016
Superhumans: Inside the world's first cyborg games - Episode 2. During a prerun of the Baja 1000, one of the world's most treacherous off-road races, Michael McClellan rode his dirt bike out to the front. He traversed the rough terrain of Mexico's northwest peninsula, eventually coming up hard on a washed-up break in the road. In the moment, McClellan decided to take the jump. Read more...
Watch the Engadget video here.
Watch a summary of the article on Instagram.

How Cleveland connects to the world's first 'Cyborg Olympics'
20 Sep 2016
In October, 59 teams from all over the world will compete in Zurich, Switzerland, in the first Cybathalon, designed to showcase technology that helps humans in everyday life. The contestants, or "pilots", are athletes with disabilities who use technology to assist or move their bodies. Think robotic prosthetics or exoskeletons. The event is commonly nicknamed the "Cyborg Olympics." Two of the 74 contestants will use neural stimulation systems designed in Cleveland. Instead of firing up muscles from attached devices, these "pilots" have implants that spur their muscles to speedily pedal recumbent bikes. Read more...

Local paraplegic to compete in Switzerland event
18 Sep 2016
Michael McClellan, 56, of Roseville is passionate about extreme sports and athleticism. He is also a paraplegic. Despite his condition, brought about by a dirt-bike accident, new technology in the form of a Functional Electrical Stimulant (FES) implant will allow him to return to the competitive field in precedent-setting style: McClellan is set to be featured in the documentary series “Superhumans: Inside the World's First Cyborg Games,” which recently debuted on Engadget R+D and chronicles his upcoming role in the first-ever Cybathlon to be held in Zurich, Switzerland on Oct. 8.
Read more...

A CWRU Researcher Creates the Sense of Touch
14 Sep 2016
Dustin Tyler always gets the same feeling. Whenever the Case Western Reserve University professor and researcher sees something that doesn’t work, an urge drives him to fix it. “I like working at the things that don’t exist and trying to make them exist,” Tyler says. After nearly 10 years of research, he did that for Igor Spetic, who lost his right forearm and hand in a manufacturing accident and had been using two prosthetics. Read more...

Olympics-style Cybathlon competition to showcase use of advanced assistive devices
22 Aug 2016
While most of the world’s attention this summer has been on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a small team from Cleveland, Ohio, has had their eyes set on a fundamentally different kind of athletic competition for human-machine teams. This first-of-its-kind event, the international Cybathlon, features contests for people with disabilities using assistive technologies, and will take place on Oct. 8, 2016, in Zurich, Switzerland. Read more...

Welcome to the Cyborg Olympics: The Cybathlon aims to help disabled people navigate the most difficult course of all: the everyday world
03 Aug 2016
Vance Bergeron was once an amateur cyclist who rode 7,000 kilometres per year — much of it on steep climbs in the Alps. But in February 2013, as the 50-year-old chemical engineer was biking to work at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyons, France, he was hit by a car. The impact sent him flying through the air and onto his head, breaking his neck.
Read more...

Paralyzed riders use new technology to race bikes
25 Jul 2016
Four men and a woman from across the United States, who are paralyzed below the waist, will race on recumbent trikes at the Cleveland Heights Recreation Center at the Team Cleveland Cybathlon Trials, Tuesday, July 26. Read more...

Paul Marasco: “La tecnología debe ser práctica y fácil de aplicar”
13 Jul 2016
Durante el mes de junio, una delegación de representantes de Cleveland Clinic, considerado actualmente como uno de los cuatro mejores hospitales en los EE.UU., visitó la Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) con el fin de aportar conocimientos a la formación de la generación de nuevos ingenieros en bioingeniería y mecatrónica. Read more...

Tomorrow's Prosthetic Hand
01 Jul 2016
Recent breakthroughs in technology could mean a fully functional artificial hand may be on the horizon. Modern prostheses can provide amputees with a wide variety of motor functions, but they cannot give patients back their sense of touch. Until now, that is. Read more...

The Trouble With High-Tech Prosthetics
21 Jun 2016
A prosthetic arm can’t just be cool—it needs to be usable. You’ve probably seen the Frozen, Iron Man, and Star Wars prosthetics—intended to boost the confidence of kids with missing limbs. Now, you can even meet the first man with the Luke Skywalker arm. With today’s ever-increasing technology, some of these once fictional devices are making their way to real-life. Read more...

Hacemos que el cerebro acepte a una máquina
15 Jun 2016
Entrevista a Paul Marasco, investigador del Departamento de Biotecnología de la Cleveland Clinic (EE.UU.). El investigador viene trabajando en el desarrollo de prótesis que se muevan con la mente y que permitan al usuario recuperar el sentido del tacto.  Este año Paul Marasco recibió del presidente Barack Obama el Reconocimiento Presidencial... Read more...

Prosthetic Hand Restores Amputee's Sense of Touch
17 May 2016
Igor Spetic lost his right hand in an industrial accident. Then he started working with Dustin J. Tyler, a researcher in human-machine interaction, to help develop an experimental haptic prosthetic that lets Spetic feel sensations in his missing hand. To make the prosthetic work, Tyler tapped into Spetic’s nervous system. Implanted electrodes in the right forearm make contact with three nerves at 20 locations. Stimulating different nerve fibers produces realistic sensations: When one spot is stimulated... Read more...

Feel Me: What the new science of touch says about ourselves.
16 May 2016
On a bitter, soul-shivering, damp, biting gray February day in Cleveland—that is to say, on a February day in Cleveland—a handless man is handling a nonexistent ball. Igor Spetic lost his right hand when his forearm was pulped in an industrial accident six years ago and had to be amputated. In an operation four years ago, a team of surgeons implanted a set of small translucent “interfaces” into the neural circuits of his upper arm. This afternoon, in a basement lab at a Veterans Administration hospital, the wires are hooked up directly to a prosthetic hand—plastic, flesh-colored, five-fingered, and articulated—that is affixed to what remains of his arm. The hand has more than a dozen pressure sensors within it, and their signals can be transformed by a computer into electric waves like those natural to the nervous system. The sensors in the prosthetic hand feed information from the world into the wires in Spetic’s arm. Since, from the brain’s point of view, his hand is still there, it needs only to be recalled to life. Read more...

Local VA researcher honored for prosthetic work with 'Star Wars' touch
01 May 2016
Luke Skywalker has just had his hand chopped off by Darth Vader. A subsequent scene of the 1980 movie "The Empire Strikes Back" shows the young Jedi getting a new prosthetic hand, capable of touch and every movement needed to wield a lightsaber. Science fiction is now science reality, according to Paul Marasco, a principal investigator for the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center of Excellence at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Read more...

Creating a Prosthetic Hand That Can Feel: DARPA’s HAPTIX program aims to develop a prosthetic hand that’s just as capable as the original
28 Apr 2016
Wearing a blindfold and noise-canceling headphones, Igor Spetic gropes for the bowl in front of him, reaches into it, and picks up a cherry by its stem. He uses his left hand, which is his own flesh and blood. His right hand, though, is a plastic and metal prosthetic, the consequence of an industrial accident. Spetic is a volunteer in our research at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and he has been using this “myoelectric” device for years, controlling it by flexing the muscles in his right arm. The prosthetic, typical of those used by amputees, provides only crude control. As we watch, Spetic grabs the cherry between his prosthetic thumb and forefinger so that he can pull off the stem. Instead, the fruit bursts between his fingers. Read more...

APT Researcher Awarded Career Development Award From Dystonia Coalition
Aasef Shaikh, MD, PhD, a researcher with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) and with Case Western Reserve University, has been awarded the prestigious Career Development Award from the Dystonia Coalition. He is one of only three clinician-researchers to receive this annual award. Read more...

President Obama Honors Extraordinary Early-Career Scientists
18 Feb 2016
President Obama today named 105** researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The winners will receive their awards at a Washington, DC ceremony this spring. Read more...

Dr. Paul Marasco Presidential 2016 Award

Cleveland VA Medical Center, Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Researcher, Paul Marasco, PhD, will receive the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers during a White House ceremony this spring. Dr. Marasco is a principal investigator in the APT Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The VA’s Research and Development Service nominated Dr. Marasco to represent VA. Only a handful of rising stars from across the country receive this honor. Read more...

APT/CWRU Researcher Exhibited at March Congressional Manufacturing Briefing in Washington, D.C.
Kath Bogie, PhD, a researcher with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) and with Case Western Reserve University, exhibited at a briefing for congress members, scientists, entrepreneurs and technologists regarding applications for additive manufacturing in medicine. The briefing was hosted by Carnegie Mellon University and America Makes in conjunction with the House Manufacturing Caucus and the House Maker Caucus. Read more...

VA APT Researcher receives the December 2015 CTSC Core Utilization Pilot Award
The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) of Case Western Reserve University Core Utilization pilot program supports investigator use of and familiarity with CTSC Core operations and personnel, in anticipation of applications for external funding using CTSC resources. Ideal uses may be to run tests on samples already collected, build cross-disciplinary collaborative programs, develop enabling technologies, new therapeutic, diagnostic or outcomes assessment approaches and/or devices; basic researcher/clinical researcher collaborations; and/or promotion of research in the community. Read more...

APT Center / CWRU researcher developing better method to ensure safety of medications
Fake or low-quality medicines and food supplements are an ongoing global problem in underdeveloped nations, although technology-savvy places, such as the United States, are also not immune. A researcher at Case Western Reserve University is developing a low-cost, portable prototype designed to detect tainted medicines and food supplements that otherwise can make their way to consumers. The technology can authenticate good medicines and supplements. Read more...

VA APT Researcher Highlighted in Fall Institute on Teaching and Mentoring Publication
Brooke Odle, a researcher with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (LSCVAMC) was recognized for her postdoctoral work and the positive effects the research has on her community. While engaged in doctoral studies, she attended the Institute as an AGEP Scholar and an Alfred P. Sloan scholar. The Institute gives the issue of faculty diversity a national focus and provides minority scholars with the strategies necessary to earn the doctoral degree and succeed as a member of the professoriate. Read more...



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