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.

  • 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).

  • NUPOC Presents STEM Program for Aspiring Scientists

    NUPOC presented a STEM program for Parkway South High School students   

    NUPOC presented an educational program for 50 science students and their science teachers (Parkway South High School, Manchester, MO) on April 21, 2016. During the half-day STEM program, students connected knowledge that they had learned in their physics and robotics classes and actively related it to its application in the biomechanics of human gait, human motion analysis, and prosthetic devices for upper and lower limbs.  

    Steven A. Gard, PhD, presented

    Steven A. Gard, PhD, set the foundation for the STEM program at NUPOC with his presentation, “The Biomechanics of Human Gait”. Rebecca Stine, MS, carried the discussion forward with her presentation, “Human Motion Analysis”. Thomas Curran, BS, demonstrated gait and Ms. Stine explained how scientists can apply information about the biomechanics of human gait using human motion capture systems to collect and measure data. Christopher Robinson, CPO/L, MBA, MS, ATC, FAAOP(D), engaged the group with his presentation, “How Prostheses Work”. Students examined upper limb and lower limb prosthetic devices. Following his presentation, Mr. Robinson generously responded to the students’ enthusiastic and numerous questions. 

    Student examines a lower limb prosthesis  Mr. Robinson presented    Student examines lower limb prosthesis.

    Thomas Curran, BS, Pranitha Gottipati, PhD, and R. J. Garrick, PhD, conducted NUPOC facilities tours and discussed educational programs for BME and P&O. In the prototyping lab, Lilly Tran, MS, interacted with the students, presenting a discussion-demonstration of “3D Printing at NUPOC”.

    Thomas Curran, BS, demonstrates gait in JBVAMC-MARL at NUPOC.  Students learn how human motion capture data can be interpreted.

    Parkway South science teacher, Tim Morrison, reflected on the impact that NUPOC STEM programs have on his students, “Your presentations brought reality to the world of their future vision... Students found the connection between art, discovery, development, and practice. They experienced real possibilities and saw themselves doing them.” Showing the important educational impact that NUPOC STEM programs can have for future scientists, a student reflected, “I can’t believe I could be doing this in the near future!

    This NUPOC STEM program was developed by R. J. Garrick, PhD.

  • NUPOC MPO Students Invited to Apply for 2016 Dale Yasukawa Memorial Scholarship

    Dale Yasukawa (1996)The Dale Yasukawa Memorial Scholarship Fund was established at OPAF in November 2001 with the cooperation of Linda Yasukawa, PT, MS. Eligible candidates for the Yasukawa Scholarship are currently enrolled, full-time students in the Northwestern University Masters of Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO) program. Administered through OPAF, the Scholarship awards one $1,000 scholarship each fiscal year.

    Mr. Yasukawa was director of prosthetics at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) in the Department of Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinical Services. He began working at RIC as a physical therapy aid (1988) and joined the O&P clinical services department (1990). Mr. Yasukawa attended the Northwestern University prosthetics certificate program (1991); and from 1993 he worked as an ABC-certified prosthetist, treating a broad diversity of patients. Mr. Yasukawa was an active member in the Midwest Chapter of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists for seven years, completing his service as immediate past president in 2001. Mr. Yasukawa died on November 22, 2001 at the age of 43.

    The Yasukawa Scholarship encourages student participation in local annual meetings of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP). It is expected that recipients will use the award to defray local AAOP meeting registration fees and the purchase of books, supplies, and equipment required in their MPO studies at NUPOC. Applications are due May 15. Application information is available at OPAF.

  • Stefania Fatone and Ryan Caldwell Present at Scheck Fair

    Ryan Caldwell and Stefania Fatone presented at the Scheck Fair (2016).Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, were invited presenters at the Scheck Fair (Lombard IL) on April 8. Scheck Fair is an educational event hosted by Scheck & Siress, one of the largest O&P clinical providers with 15 locations throughout the Chicago area. Mr. Caldwell is a full-time prosthetist for Scheck & Siress and also is a research prosthetist at NUPOC. Mr. Caldwell and Dr. Fatone presented “Socket-Related Research Collaborations at Northwestern University”, highlighting three research projects in which NUPOC and Scheck & Siress are collaborating: 

    ▪  Development of the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
    ▪  Interface Monitoring System to Promote Residual Limb Health, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    ▪   Functional Performance Evaluation of the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation, funded by the U. S. Department of Defense (DOD)

  • ISPO Designates Seminal Article by Fatone, et al. for Open Access

    Original article by Fatone, et al. (2016) designated open access by POI.The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) has designated an original research report authored by Stefania Fatone, BJ Johnson and Kerice Tucker an open access article. Open access articles are considered seminal and have the potential to make a positive impact on worldwide P&O research and teaching. 

    Tim Bach, Editor-in-Chief of Prosthetics and Orthotics International (POI) writes, "...Mathematical and computer modeling continues to be an important tool in prosthetics and orthotics research and teaching... A paper by Fatone, Johnson and Tucker (2016) in our April issue describes a three-dimensional computer model to estimate the effects of anatomical-mechanical axis misalignments in ankle-foot orthoses on tissue interface stresses. The authors have made the model freely available as a clinical and teaching tool."

    Read this POI open access publication: Fatone S, Johnson WB, Tucker K (2016) "A 3D Model to Assess the Effect of Ankle Joint Axis Misalignments in Ankle-Foot Orthoses". Prosthetics Orthotics International, 40(2):240-246. DOI: 10.1177/0309364614543551.  

  • Caldwell and Tran Represent NUPOC at Research Day

    Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, discusses his poster at the 2016 Lewis Landsberg Research Day.     Lilly Tran, MS, Research Engineer, discussed her poster at the 2016 Lewis Landsberg Research Day (Northwestern University).

    Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, and Lilly Tran, MS, presented posters at the 12th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day held at Northwestern University on April 7, 2016. Mr. Caldwell presented a poster describing Development of the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation Ms. Tran presented a poster describing Stakeholder Input on Development of a Residual Limb Monitoring System These projects are led by Principal Investigator, Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and the research described in the posters is funded by DOD and NIH, respectively.  

  • NUPOC Authors Contribute to Atlas of Amputations and Limb Deficiencies

    NUPOC P&O specialists contributed chapters to the Atlas of Amputations and Limb Deficiencies (4th ed., 2016)John Brinkmann, MA, CPO, FAAOP; Stefania Fatone PhD, BPO(Hons); Robert Lipschutz, CP, BSME; and John Michael, MEd, CPO, FAAOP, are contributing authors of chapters published in the 4th edition of Atlas of Amputations and Limb Deficiencies published March 2016 by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

    Bold type identifies NUPOC chapter contributors. John Brinkmann and Phillip Stevens authored “Clinical Considerations of Observational Gait Analysis”; Michael Dillon and Stefania Fatone, authored “Prosthetic Management after Partial Foot Amputation”; Robert Lipschutz authored “Targeted Muscle Reinnervation: Prosthetic Management”, and “Upper Limb Prostheses for Children”; and John Michael and Phillip Stevens authored “Lower Limb Prosthetic Components: Updated Classification and Passive, Body-Powered Components”, and Phillip Stevens and John Michael authored “Lower Limb Prosthetic Components: Microprocessor-Controlled Components”.

    Written by recognized experts in the fields of amputation surgery, rehabilitation, and prosthetics, the Atlas is considered to be the foremost and definitive reference for the surgical and prosthetic management of acquired and congenital limb loss. The new 4th edition is updated with new images, recent advances in surgical techniques, prosthetic technology, and current recommendations for treatment and management. Both the e-book and 3-volume print edition are available at the online bookstores of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists

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.