Advanced Platform Technology Center
Hamid Charkhkar, PhD
Neuroprostheses, Assistive Technology, Sensory Feedback, Neural Interface, Neurotechnology
Dr. Hamid Charkhkar is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, OH. He also holds an Investigator position with the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (LSCVAMC). His research efforts focus on developing neurotechnology to restore sensorimotor function in people with limb loss or neuromusculoskeletal impairment.
Dr. Charkhkar has used electrical stimulation through high-density nerve cuff electrodes implanted around peripheral nerves of individuals with lower-limb amputation to elicit sensations perceived as originating from the missing leg. He and his team have developed a sensory neuroprosthesis (SNP) that controls location, intensity, and duration of electrical stimulation of the peripheral nerves based on plantar pressures detected under the prosthetic foot, thereby linking elicited perceptions with prosthetic foot interactions with the floor and environment. Using open and closed-loop feedback with the SNP system, the team explores effects of foot sensory feedback on balance, locomotion, and activities of daily living in lower-limb amputees. The results of this work have implications not only for sensory restoration in impaired populations but also in understanding the influence of sensations and perceptions on motor control and rehabilitation.
Dr. Charkhkar’s skills span basic science techniques and clinical research methods in the field of neuroengineering. He has supervised and collaborated with multidisciplinary teams consisting of clinicians, engineers, students, and scientists to complete milestone-based research projects. He is a co-investigator on three major projects (total funds of $6.7 M), has published 18 high-impact journal articles, and serves as an invited reviewer for more than 15 scientific journals and professional conferences. As a translational neuroengineer, Dr. Charkhkar aims to apply scientific and technical developments from the bench to the clinical arena to improve the quality of life for people with sensorimotor impairments.
Figures: Top picture shows cuff electrodes implanted around sciatic, tibial, and peroneal nerves of a transtibial amputee. The delivery of the electrical stimulation to nerve cuffs elicits sensations perceived as originating from the missing foot and ankle. The bottom picture shows the Sensory Neuroprosthesis (SNP). The locations and intensities of the perceived sensations are coincident and proportional to the plantar pressures applied to the prosthetic foot and detected by the instrumented insole"
|Published Work: PubMed, Google Scholar|