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.

  • Stefania Fatone, PhD, Keynote Speaker

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO (Hons), invited Keynote Speaker for the 10th Annual Research Symposium, Mercy College of Health Sciences (Des Moines, IA).Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to deliver the Keynote Address for the 10th Annual Research Symposium, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Past, Present, and Emerging Future, at Mercy College of Health Sciences (Des Moines, IA). Dr. Fatone presented “50 Years of Prosthetics and Orthotics Education and Research in the USA”. The symposium featured additional P&O presentations and a poster competition that emphasized clinical outcomes. The symposium was sponsored by the Mercy College Research Advisory Council and co-sponsored by Mercy College Alumni Association.

  • NUPOC Hosts STEM Program

    Students examine and manipulate prosthetic devices during NUPOC STEM program.   Students examine and manipulate prosthetic devices during NUPOC STEM program.   Students examine and manipulate prosthetic devices during NUPOC STEM program.

    Yeongchi Wu, MD (right) is assisted by a student from Parkway South High School during an interactive demonstration about dilatancy casting.In support of STEM science initiatives, NUPOC hosted an educational program for 55 science students, their science teachers, and the Principal of Manchester South High School (Manchester, MO). The students learned about NUPOC research and education programs while visiting the on-site Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Motion Analysis Research Laboratory, the fabrication laboratory, the machine shop with CAD-CAM and 3D printer, and historical displays that illustrate decades of P&O device development.

    Steven A. Gard, PhD, discussed research initiatives at NUPOC and Mike Cavanaugh, CPO/L, presented educational requirements for P&O careers. The students, some budding engineers, closely examined and manipulated dozens of prosthetic devices for both upper and lower limbs.

    Yeongchi Wu, MD, discussed dilatancy principles and demonstrated an innovative P&O casting technique that he and his research team are developing. Dilatancy casting offers better, cheaper, faster, and environmentally appropriate P&O fabrication. This technology is a candidate for translational science and is ready for knowledge transfer to under-resourced societies. Erin Boutwell, PhD, helped conduct a facilities tour and Lilly Tran, MS, explained 3D printing. R. J. Garrick, PhD, facilitated the program. NUPOC appreciates Chris Robinson, CPO/L, MBA, MS, ATC, FAAOP, for his support of this program.

  • Richard L. Lieber, PhD, Visits NUPOC

    Dr. Fatone (left) discusses research with Richard Lieber, PhD, in the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Motion Analysis Research Laboratory located at NUPOC.Richard L. Lieber, PhD, Senior Vice President of Research & Chief Scientific Officer (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), visited NUPOC at the invitation of Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons). Dr. Fatone welcomed Dr. Lieber and conducted an informative tour of NUPOC facilities, while discussing NUPOC research activities and education programs. During his visit, Dr. Lieber also met Steven A. Gard, PhD, NUPOC Executive Director, Yeongchi Wu, MD, Research Associate Professor, Matthew Major, PhD, Assistant Professor, Lilly Tran, MS, Research Engineer, and R. J. Garrick, PhD, Project Director.

  • Yeongchi Wu Presents Dilatancy Technology at Research Day

    Yeongchi Wu, MD, explained dilatancy principles to Robert Craig, MD, at the 2015 Lewis Landsberg Research Day.Yeongchi Wu, MD, represented the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) for education and research and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the 11th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day. Dr. Wu presented the poster, Innovative Dilatancy Prosthetic-Orthotic Technologies for Low-Income Countries. Poster co-authors are Larissa Sletto, Christopher Robinson, Hector Casanova, John Michael and Steven A. Gard.

    The Research Day featured 350 posters in Basic Science, Clinical Research, and Public Health and Social Sciences. The event presents the diverse range of research conducted throughout the Feinberg School of Medicine and encourages collegial networking, discussion, and increased collaboration. 

  • NUPOC Hosts STEM Program

       At NUPOC, students learn science through interactive experience.   NUPOC promotes early STEM learning opportunities.    At NUPOC, students learn about the science and art of prosthetics.

    Erin Boutwell, PhD, explains biomechanics and how prostheses work.NUPOC hosted 30 students, their mentors, and science teachers, Anne Kielbasa (St. Bruno School, Chicago, IL) and Karen Heaton-Walsh, DVM (St. Stanislaus Kostka School, Chicago, IL) for an educational Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) tour of NUPOC. At NUPOC, Erin Boutwell, PhD, assisted by Lilly Tran, MS, introduced the students and their teachers to new research in biomedical engineering, including 3D prototyping and mechanical testing systems. The group learned about prosthetics, orthotics, anatomy, and biomechanics. They closely examined and manipulated functional P&O devices. 

    The students participate in a Saturday enrichment program, the Big Shoulders Fund Exelon Explorers STEM Program that engages students in inquiry-based science activities. They also are learning about rehabilitation engineering concepts through an interdisciplinary module (Get-a-Grip!), designed by Suzanne Olds, PhD (Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University) and others. During the unit, students build from common materials, test, and evaluate prosthetic arms that can achieve pre-defined tasks.

  • Stefania Fatone Participates in Inaugural DoD Review Panel

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to participate in CRMRP-OPORP Review PanelStefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to participate in the foundational Department of Defense (DoD) FY2014 Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program (CRMRP) - Orthotics and Prosthetics Outcomes Research Program (OPORP) Peer Review Panel Meeting held in Reston, VA. The DoD request for proposals challenged the scientific community to address the orthotic and prosthetic treatments and technologies that generate the best patient outcomes. The review panels were comprised of scientists, consumers, biostatisticians, human subject research and technology transfer specialists. The peer review process is designed to support transparency and comprehensive review of proposals seeking DoD funding for innovative and high-impact research.

  • NUPOC Welcomes Joel Scham

    Joel SchamJoel Scham will conduct research at NUPOC under the supervision of Matthew Major, PhD. To understand the interactions between prosthetic feet and different types of shoe, he will conduct biomechanical testing. He will collect, analyze, interpret, and, together with Dr. Major, publish these data.

    In summer 2015, Mr. Scham will complete his Bachelor’s degree in Sport Science with a Biomechanical Engineering focus (University of Konstanz, Germany). His graduation thesis treated a treadmill-based method that he developed to evaluate roll-over shape among able-bodied runners. His prior experience includes working on Biomechatronic Systems projects at Fraunhofer Institute (Stuttgart, Germany) under the direction of Florian Blab, MA, and Felix Starker, Dipl-Ing, the latter of whom was a Visiting Scholar at NUPOC. Mr. Scham’s projects focused on para-cycling and the roll-over shape associated with different running techniques. A licensed mountain bike trainer, in his leisure time, Mr. Scham is an avid bicyclist.

  • Dilatancy Research Team Publishes Technical Note

    From left, Larissa (Conner) Sletto, Chris Robinson, and Yeongchi Wu.A Technical Note by Larissa (Conner) Sletto, CO, Yeongchi Wu, MD, and Christopher Robinson, CPO, MBA, MS, ATC, FAAOP, “Dilatancy-based Impression and Fabrication Technique for Custom Foot Orthoses”, is published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International (March 11, 2015:1-5. See Prosthetics and Orthotics International Online First where this forthcoming article is published on line prior to print. Learn more about the research project, Development of a Low-Cost Dilatancy-Based System for Orthotic Fabrication.

  • Improving Prostheses for Agricultural Workers

    The NIDRR-funded research project, "Assessing and Responding to the Prosthetics Needs of Farmers and Ranchers", is featured in AgrAbility Harvest, 2015:6(1)2-3. The article, "Prosthetics and Agriculture: A Marriage of Necessity", examines the concerns of agricultural workers who use prostheses in their work lives. Derived from interviews with both farmers and prosthetists who serve them, important factors included prosthetic durability, cost, and device adaptability. Research findings showed concerns with cost, sweat and discomfort, insufficient grip force, the inconvenience of myoelectric devices when working in wet conditions, and risks to mobility, stability, and safety when walking over rough terrain. Recommendations for improving prosthetic devices for agricultural workers and others included simplicity, maintainability, durability and affordability.

  • NUPOC Announces Dudley S. Childress, PhD Endowment

    Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Fund for Research and EducationNUPOC is delighted to announce that the Childress Fund has reached the $100,000 level and Northwestern University will officially endow the Fund in perpetuity as the Dudley S. Childress, PhD Endowment for Research and Education.

    Through the generosity of Mrs. Childress, the Childress family, and many other donors, the Dudley S. Childress, PhD Endowment for Research and Education will extend Dudley Childress’ legacy by supporting an annual named program that actively and engagingly introduces Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) students to rehabilitation engineering.

    Dudley Childress, PhD, was a pioneer in biomechanics and rehabilitation engineering, making advances in prosthetic, orthotic, and assistive device technology.  His presentations about rehabilitation engineering for prosthetics and orthotics (P&O) inspired students to enter biomedical engineering as a career path. We look forward advancing Dr. Childress’ passion for inspiring and mentoring students through annual STEM programs, thereby expanding the role of engineering in medicine.

    NUPOC is deeply grateful to Mrs. Childress, the Childress family, and all donors to the Endowment. Future gifts in honor of Dudley Childress can be made to the Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Fund for Research and Education, thus increasing the value and efficacy of the Endowment.

Childress Honored at Memorial Service

Approximately 200 friends, colleagues and family members attended the September 20, 2014 memorial service held in honor of Dudley Childress. Links to the transcribed version of eulogies and retrospectives that were presented at the memorial service are available. Links to the MP3 audio files of the entire memorial service are available. Links to the essays written by former students and colleagues on the occasion of the "Festschrift in Honor of Dudley S. Childress, PhD©" (2006) are also available.

The Childress Fund

The Childress Fund has been established with a generous gift from the Childress family to help carry forward Dudley Childress' work by stimulating interest in rehabilitation engineering for prosthetics-orthotics. Ultimately, the Fund will benefit all who are interested in P&O and especially individuals who live with physical impairments. We invite you to be part of this effort by giving generously to the Childress Fund.

NUPOC Offers Free Webinar

Ryan Caldwell, CP/L, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), present a free online webinar, "Subischial Socket with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation", hosted by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.