Read the latest news from the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about NUPOC and our recent achievements.

  • Thomas Curran, MS, Successfully Defends Thesis, Begins Engineering Career

    Thomas Curran, MS (2016), successfully defended his thesis, The Effects of Foot-Ankle Components on the Mechanical Properties of Dynamic Response Prosthetic Feet, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering. Steven A. Gard, PhD, was his mentor and academic advisor.

    Mr. Curran packed June 2016 with new accomplishments. In addition to successfully completing his Master of Science degree, he began employment as a Research Engineer II at Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center (RADC) where he is working with Aaron Buchman, MD, Professor in Neurological Sciences, and Postdoctoral Fellow Robert Dawe, PhD, to analyze and further develop computer algorithms to obtain measurements of gait and motor function from devices used in field testing. Mr. Curran said, “The device I am working on right now is the DynaPort, a tri-axial accelerometer produced by McRoberts. In the coming months I will be working with the Kinect, produced by Microsoft.”

  • Jenn Murphy Wins 2016 Dale Yasukawa Award

    Jennifer Murphy, 2016 Yasukawa Award RecipientJennifer Murphy (MPO 2017) is the selected recipient of the 2016 Dale Yasukawa Award. Currently enrolled students in the Northwestern University Masters of Prosthetics and Orthotics program are eligible to compete for the annual $1,000 scholarship. The Yasukawa Scholarship encourages the awardee to participate in the Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP).

    Ms. Murphy earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a certificate in Engineering Design. During internships she built skills toward becoming a successful P&O clinician, focusing on verbal and technical communication skills. She became proficient in MYOPro and Pattern Recognition Technology and explored 3D printing. She volunteers to support Hi-5 Sports and recently served as President of the Northwestern University chapter of Special Olympics.

    Ms. Murphy plans to use the Yasukawa Award to attend the national meeting of the AAOP to extend her knowledge and share it with her colleagues. Ms. Murphy said, “It is a great honor to be selected for the Yasukawa Award. As President of Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Student Society, I would like to attend AAOP conferences to learn more and report that new information to my classmates. This scholarship makes those goals possible.”

  • Stefania Fatone Presents Clinical Research Grand Rounds

    Dr. Fatone presented, “The Final Frontier: Developments in Transfemoral Sockets” Stefania Fatone, PhD, presented “The Final Frontier: Developments in Transfemoral Sockets” as part of the joint Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation/Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Clinical Research Grand Rounds. Dr Fatone’s talk discussed the history of transfemoral sockets and emerging technologies, including the work she has led developing the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket. Clinical Research Grand Rounds are relatively informal presentations, directed mostly toward clinicians, about ongoing or planned research at NU or RIC applicable to clinicians.

  • Chris Robinson Represents FSM Medical Faculty Council, Welcomes Participants to Biomedical Data Science Day

    Mr. Robinson represented the FSM Medical Council at the 2016 Biomedical Data Science Day.     Mr. Robinson represented FSM Faculty Medical Council at the 2016 Biomedical Data Science Day

    Chris Robinson, CPO/L, MS, MBA, ATC, FAAOP(D), Vice President of the Feinberg Medical Faculty Council, Assistant Professor in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, delivered welcome remarks and acknowledgements at the opening of the Biomedical Data Science Day (BDSC) presented by the Feinberg Center for Data Science (CDSI). Feinberg Medical Faculty Council support of the BDSD is in keeping with its stated mission of fostering academic excellence.  

    The BDSD vision statement identifies the symposium goals as: “research collaboration and networking by bringing together faculty, staff, and students from Northwestern University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and affiliated institutions with an interest in the application of data science and big data methods to clinical and biomedical domains.” The conference featured research talks, networking lunch, and focused breakout sessions on data science areas, including natural language processing and text mining, genomics, proteomics, and social data and health. 

  • NU-FlexSIV Socket Course Draws Prosthetists and Patients

    Prosthetists work closely with their patients to fit and align the NU-FlexSIV Socket.   Prosthetists work closely with their patients to fit and align the NU-FlexSIV Socket.   Prosthetists work closely with their patients to fit and align the NU-FlexSIV Socket.

    Prosthetists from coast-to-coast and Canada attended the NU-FlexSIV Socket Course to learn how to fabricate and fit the Northwestern University Flexible Subischial Vacuum Socket that was developed by Ryan Caldwell, CP/L, FAAOP, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons). 

    NU-FlexSIV Socket developer Ryan Caldwell, CP (left), trains Todd Sleeman, CPO (right), in accurately fitting the socket.The 2-day, hands-on NU-FlexSIV courses are presented with funding from the Department of Defense and support from Össur. Two 2016 workshops represent the final dissemination phase of the DOD-funded research project, Development of Subischial Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations. The course sparked nationwide interest among prosthetists and their patients. Both sessions are fully subscribed and wait-listed.

    Prosthetists and their Patient Models with transfemoral amputation attended the 2-day course. Prosthetists engaged in didactic and hands-on activities that enabled them to fabricate, fit, and align a NU-FlexSIV Socket. Patient Models responded positively to the comfort, range of motion, and stability of the NU-FlexSIV socket. Attendees viewed comparison videos of Patient Models walking in their original sockets and in the NU-FlexSIV sockets. 

    Prosthetists view comparative films of their Patient Models walking in the NU-FlexSIV Socket and their original socket

    Prosthetists and their Patient Models viewed side-by-side films that compared the Patient Models as they walked in their sockets and in their NU-FlexSIV Sockets. The closing module of the Course addressed definitive socket fabrication options. After completing the course, attending Prosthetists can participate in a technical forum where they can discuss their fabrication experiences with the developers and other Prosthetists who attended the NU-FlexSIV Socket Course. The online, interactive forum is designed to facilitate the implementation of the NU-FlexSIV Socket in their P&O clinics. Prosthetists who attended the NU-FlexSIV Socket course gained 15.5 ABC/BOC continuing education credits, hands-on knowledge about the NU-FlexSIV Socket, the NU-FlexSIV Socket Manual, the prosthetic liner for his/her Patient Model, and the check socket that they fabricated and fit.

    (From left) NUPOC MPO 2017 students Andrew Sparks, Joey Zisk, Samantha Wright, Jacob Kilpatrick, and Josh Zumbrun (not shown here) provided fabrication assistance.

    NUPOC educators John Brinkmann, CPO, Michael Cavanaugh, CPO, and MPO 2017 students Jacob Kilpatrick, Andrew Sparks, Samantha Wright, Joey Zisk, and Josh Zumbrun provided fabrication assistance. Linda India, Elizabeth Rowe, and Ken Harris provided administrative support. Piper Kruse filmed comparative videos of Patient Models ambulating in their socket and the NU-FlexSIV Socket. R. J. Garrick, PhD, was registrar and manager of the NU-FlexSIV Socket Course. The NU-FlexSIV Socket developers appreciate funding from the Department of Defense and Össur; and additional support from the Department of PM&R, Scheck and Siress, and the entire NUPOC faculty and staff who contributed to the success of these courses. 

    View slides from 2016 NU-FlexSIV Socket Course. The 2016 Courses were fully subscribed and attend by Prosthetists and their patients from throughout the USA and Canada. 

  • Matthew Major, PhD, Presents at VA Research Week

    Mattehw Major, PhD, presented his research at VA Research Week (2016)Matthew J. Major, PhD, a VA Career Development Award recipient, delivered a presentation, "Locomotor Stability of Upper and Lower Limb Prosthesis Users", at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center as part of VA Research Week. His presentation discussed two ongoing VA research projects: 1) the anticipatory and response mechanisms of persons with below-knee limb loss when subjected to a lateral perturbation during walking; and 2) the effects of prosthesis inertial properties on locomotor stability of persons with upper limb amputation. Dr. Major’s presentation was followed by two other Career Development Award recipients whose work investigates therapeutic treatments for alcoholism and obesity.

  • Suzanne McConn, MS, Successfully Defends Thesis

    Suzanne McConn, MS, defends thesisSuzanne McConn, MS, successfully defended her thesis for a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Matthew J. Major, PhD, was her academic advisor. Ms. McConn’s research investigated “Prosthetic Influence on Gait Stability in Individuals with Upper Limb Loss”.

    The study compared subjects’ gait stability in two conditions: 1) when wearing an upper limb prosthesis that matched the mass and inertial characteristics of the sound limb; and 2) when walking without a prosthesis or wearing a prosthesis that did not match the sound limb’s characteristics. Stability during walking was measured using margin of stability, trunk kinematics, average step width, step length and others. Results suggested that wearing a prosthesis with mass and inertial properties that “closely match those of the sound limb may benefit gait stability by reducing transverse trunk rotation” and opened the way to future research in gait stability among individuals with upper limb amputation.

  • Matthew Major, PhD, Presents at Whitaker Enrichment Seminar

    Matthew Major, PhD, addresses Whitaker Fellowship alumni (Athens, Greece, 2016)

    Matthew Major, Whitaker grantee (2006)

    Matthew Major, PhD, was an invited speaker at the 2016 Annual Whitaker Grantee Enrichment Seminar & Steering Committee Meeting (Athens, Greece) held April 11-15, 2016. As a grantee of a Whitaker Fellowship (2006) who conducted Biomedical Engineering research at University of Salford (Manchester, England), Dr. Major presented a talk about the positive impact the Fellowship has exerted on his education, research, and career trajectory. He emphasized to the audience of current grantees the significant contributions that a Whitaker award can make to their careers. In addition to gaining education and training, the Whitaker Fellowship can enhance grantees' desirability as job candidates. The award enables grantees to show a track record of competitive excellence, proven achievement, and international experience. Dr. Major said that Whitaker grantees demonstrate the ability to obtain external research funding; the successful design, implementation and execution of a research project; and a global perspective in collaborating and solving problems with novel ideas.

  • Caldwell and Fatone Teach NU-FlexSIV Socket Course in Germany

    Medi sponsored a NU-FlexSIV course in Germany (2016)  Ryan Caldwell and Stefania Fatone taught NU-FlexSIV Socket course at Medi (2016).  German prosthetists learned to fit and fabricate the NU-FlexSIV Socket

    Ryan Caldwell, CP, taught the NU-FlexSIV Socket course in Germany (2016)Ryan Caldwell, CP, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), taught the NU-FlexSIV Socket Course for prosthetists at Medi, GmbH in Bayreuth, Germany, on April 29 and 30, 2016. Medi, GmbH, requested and sponsored this course.

    They also will attend the OT World Congress in Leipzig, Germany, from May 3 through 6, 2016. Mr. Caldwell is co-chair of a session on vacuum technology, "Prosthetics-Vacuum Sockets", where Mr. Caldwell and Dr. Fatone will co-present “Development of the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation”.

    The OT World International Trade Show and World Congress is the world's leading event for prosthetics, orthotics, and orthopaedic footwear technology. Mr. Caldwell and Dr. Fatone’s presentation was spotlighted in The O&P Edge, “OT World Session Sneak Peeks”.

  • AAOP Honors John Brinkmann

    Congratulations to John T. Brinkmann, MA, CPO/L, FAAOP(D), who received a letter from the AAOP Fellow Committee notifying him that his application was reviewed and he has been granted status as an AAOP Fellow of the Academy with Distinction. The letter notes that “Fellow with Distinction is the most significant honor that can be bestowed upon an Academy member.”

    Mr. Brinkmann will be celebrated as AAOP Fellow with Distinction during a ceremony to be held during the 43rd Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists next March in Chicago, IL. He joins a small cadre of elite P&O professionals who are recognized as Fellow of the Academy with Distinction. Other NUPOC associates who have achieved Fellow with Distinction, include Christopher Robinson, MS, CPO, MBA, ATC, FAAOP(D), Michelle Hall, CP, FAAOP(D), and John Rheinstein, CP, FAAOP(D).

The Childress Fund

Established with a generous gift from the Childress family, the Childress Fund accepts donations that help to continue Dudley Childress' work by stimulating interest in rehabilitation engineering for Prosthetics-Orthotics.

The Childress Fund benefits all who are interested in P&O and especially individuals who live with physical impairments. We invite you to be part of this ongoing effort by giving generously to the Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Research and Education Fund.