May 14-17, 2013 -- NUPOC presented research posters at the 2013 Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society (GCMAS) Conference in Cincinnati, OH. In the section on Trunk and Upper Extremity, Pranitha Gottipati, PhD, presented Reduction in Shock Absorption Capacity of the Spine during Gait after Spinal Reconstruction Surgery, co-authored with SFatone, RStine, AGanju. In the section on Posthetics / Orthotics / Assistive Devices, Erin Boutwell, PhD, presented Effect of Prosthetic Stiffness on Impact Forces during Walking and Sudden Limb Loading, co-authored with SGard. In the section on Pathologic Motion, Rebecca Stine, MS, presented Effects of a Non-rigid AFO on ML Foot Placement during Post-stroke Locomotion, authored by AZissimopoulos, SGard, SFatone, RStine.
May 6, 2013 -- Kyle Swensen, BS, is the 2013 NURERC Scholar. We established the NURERC Scholars Program during the 1998-2003 NIDRR-funded grant cycle and modeled it after the NIDRR Scholars Program that was discontinued. Annually, NURERC designates a portion of our RERC funds to host a NURERC Scholar with a physical disability. As the 2013 NURERC Scholar, Kyle will be mentored by Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons) as he works on several NIDRR-funded projects, including preparation of an in-depth literature review and contribution to an invited, published article about prosthetic outcome measures. Kyle completed his Bachelor of Science (2013) in Exercise Science with a concentration in Kinesiology at Brigham Young University. In June 2013, Kyle will join the inaugural class of the Master’s in Prosthetics & Orthotics (MPO) at the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC). His career goals are to become a clinical Prosthetist-Orthotist, conduct research, and improve evidence based practice in P&O.
May 2, 2013 -- Brian Robillard, BS, won the 3rd place cash prize for his poster, “Fabricating Prosthetic Sockets with Rapid Prototyping Technology”, presented at the InNUvations Applied Research Day (Evanston). NUPOC Postdoctoral Fellow Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD has mentored Mr. Robillard throughout the Department of Defense-funded project “Development of Subischial Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations” (Principal Investigator Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons). The 3-year project aims to fabricate maximally flexible transfemoral sub-ischial prosthetic sockets using automated processes that can be adapted to the large-scale fabrication of sockets. Dr. Komolafe noted, “Brian is working to adapt additive manufacturing to prosthetic socket development.”
Mr. Robillard summarized the results presented in his poster, “I explored the feasibility of different approaches to the automated fabrication of prosthetic sockets. Also, I proposed developing an efficient, automated fabrication technique for socket fabrication using NUPOC’s Stratasys fused deposition modeler.” In the future, the research team will evaluate the Stratasys fabricated sockets to examine the effect of precisely controlled dimension parameters on socket comfort and residual limb stress distributions.
InNUvations provides a forum for students to share their research with scientists, entrepreneurs and investors and explore opportunities to commercialize their product. Learn more here: http://www.tgs.northwestern.edu/news/applied-research-day/ Congratulations, Brian!
April 25, 2013 -- Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) participated in the 19th annual Northwestern University “Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day”. NUPOC researchers presented 3 interactive sessions for each tour. Participants enjoyed learning how body-powered and myoelectric prostheses work from Craig Heckathorne, MS, and manipulated artificial hands and arms. Ingrid Masterton, PT, explained orthoses while the children tested their dexterity and physical movement using various orthoses. Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, and Matty Major, PhD, talked about the features of prosthetic legs and feet. Participants wore simulated amputation boots to approximate the experience a person might have walking on prosthetic legs and feet. NUPOC appreciates College Park for the generous loan of their Demo Boots.
See additional photos of this event on the Feinberg School of Medicine site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/feinbergschoolofmedicine/sets/72157633337084811/show/
April 24, 2013 -- NUPOC postdoctoral fellow, Matthew J. Major, PhD, was interviewed by Popular Science. The well-known magazine sought Dr. Major's impartial opinion regarding an innovative prosthetic leg with a knee and a foot-ankle assembly that can absorb high impact shocks while snowmobiling. Mike Schultz developed the prosthesis using an adjustable 250psi mountain bike shock absorber. The article quotes Dr. Major, "Soldiers are coming home with amputations similar to Mike's. These individuals are physically fit and looking to get back into recreational activities." Read the Popular Science article here: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/medicine-firm-footing
April 23, 2013 -- Dilatancy prosthetics casting, the groundbreaking innovation by Yeongchi Wu, MD, plays a central role in the film, The Eyes of Thailand (FilmWorks Entertainment, 2013). The film chronicles a multi-disciplinary effort to help two Thai elephants walk again. Elephants Mosha and Motala, each suffering an amputated leg from land mine explosions, are walking again, thanks to dilatancy casting. Dr. Wu developed dilatancy prosthetics fabrication technology with NIDRR support and the collaboration of NUPOC when he was Director of Research at the Center for International Rehabilitation. A lifelong advocate for economical, functional, and culturally appropriate technology, now Dr. Wu is developing dilatancy technology to fabricate orthotics. Dr. Wu is Principal Investigator of the 3-year NIDRR-funded research project, Development of a Low-Cost Dilatancy-based System for Orthotic Fabrication at NUPOC.
For more information about Yeongchi Wu’s dilatancy research in orthotics, see: www.nupoc.northwestern.edu/nupoc-research/orthotics/Dilatancy_Ox_Fabrication.html
For information about film, The Eyes of Thailand (2013), see: http://eyesofthailand.com/
April 19, 2013 -- Steven A. Gard, PhD, Executive Director of the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal about prosthetics options for individuals who sustained amputation(s) caused by the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon. A version of the article appeared April 18, 2013, on page A7 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: “Amputees Face New Reality.” Read the online version at:
April 15, 2013 -- John T. Brinkmann, MA, CPO/L, FAAOP (NUPOC), with co-authors Youssef Salam, MSME, CP, and Brian Kaluf, CP, wrote “Taking the Next Step: Integrating Video-Based Gait Assessment into Clinical Practice” in The Academy TODAY (Spring 2013). Rebecca Stine, MS, manager of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Motion Analysis Research Laboratory (NUPOC, Chicago, IL) assisted. This article evaluates the appropriate use and inherent limitations of qualitative and quantitative measures for gait analysis in clinical practice. Video capture of gait offers benefits including a permanent record that enables kinematic assessment; comparative data of pre- and post-intervention gait that clarifies treatment outcome and progress; and offers side-by-side sagittal and coronal views. Read the article here: http://online.publicationprinters.com/launch.aspx?eid=41f2e526-09c9-4b5b-9860-f1c713d26e84.
April 8, 2013 -- The Dale Yasukawa Scholarship is open to all full-time candidates enrolled in the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) P&O Certificate program. This $1,000 scholarship defrays registration fees, enabling NUPOC students to attend local meetings of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. It also assists in purchasing texts, supplies and equipment necessary for study at NUPOC. Submit applications to the Orthotics & Prosthetics Activities Foundation (OPAF) office by May 1, 2013. For more information, visit: www.opafonline.org/programs/scholarship.
April 6, 2013 -- Kiki Zissimopoulos, MS, a NUPOC doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering, has presented three one-hour training sessions to Northwestern University students who volunteer as Science Mentors at the Science Club, an after-school science mentorship program at McCormick Boys & Girls Club. The Science Club and the mentorship program are part of Science in Society at Northwestern University.
On September 15, 2012 Ms. Zissimopoulos presented “Designing a Learner Centered Course”. On January 12, 2013, she presented “Teaching Methods: How Will I Help My Students Meet the Learning Objectives?” On April 6, 2013, she presented a session on “Teaching and Learning Assessments”. The objective for all training sessions is to provide Science Club mentors with pedagogical training for teaching in a small group environment. NUPOC is committed to education, training and the dissemination of accessible science information.
April 4, 2013 -- NUPOC researchers presented their work in the poster session at the 9th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Conference Center (Chicago Campus) on April 4, 2013. The Research Day program included keynote talks, Mentor of the Year awards, faculty awards for translational science, and research prizes.
NUPOC presenters and projects in clinical sciences were: Pranitha Gottipati, PhD, Reduction in Shock Absorption Capacity of the Spine during Gait after Spinal Reconstruction Surgery; Matthew Major, PhD, Upper Body Kinematics of Bilateral Transtibial Prosthesis Users During Gait; and Jose Zavaleta, MS, Modular Prosthetic Ankle for Adapting to SlopeWalking. NUPOC presenters and projects in basic sciences were: Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, Characterization of Mechanical and Electrical Vacuum Pumps for Use in Vacuum-Assisted Suspension; and Brian Robillard, BS, Design of a Process for Fabricating Prosthetic Sockets with Rapid Prototyping Technology. Abstracts for these posters are available at: http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/research/docs/2013-research-day-abstracts.pdf.
April 1, 2013 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was an invited speaker at the First Mondays Faculty Development Series panel discussion “Working with the Northwestern Office of Sponsored Research (OSR)”. The panel was chaired by David E. Lynch, Executive Director, OSR-Chicago. The First Mondays series informs first year faculty and postdoctoral fellows about requirements for grant submission; describes OSR units with regard to pre- and post-award activities; and presents essential information about how to work with OSF during preparation and submission of grant proposals.
Durbin Introduces Legislation to Support Prosthetic and Orthotic (P&O) Research and Education to Meet Demand for Veterans’ Care
March 11, 2013 -- U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) discussed two bills he introduced to improve prosthetics and orthotics (P&O) care, enhance research in best practices, and support university degree programs that train clinical prosthetists and orthotists. The bills build on the work of Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), two national leaders in the field of P&O. Senator Durbin said, “Chicago is at the front of the pack when it comes to prosthetic and orthotic training and research. I will introduce two bills to help spread that good work to the rest of the country. The men and women who suffer serious injuries in the line of duty have already sacrificed enough. They should expect nothing less than the highest standard of care throughout their lives.”
Senator Durbin introduced two bills: the Wounded Warrior Workforce Enhancement Act of 2013, a competitive grant program to help colleges and universities develop master’s degree programs focusing on prosthetics and orthotics (P&O); and the Wounded Warrior Research Enhancement Act of 2013, establishing the first centralized collection of outcome-based research and empirical data for P&O fittings. The bill also requires the VA to establish a Center of Excellence in Prosthetic and Orthotic Education to provide evidence-based research on the knowledge, skills and training clinical professionals need to care for veterans. Chicago would be a leading contender for that Center of Excellence.
The two bills, if passed by Congress, will improve prosthetics and orthotics (P&O) care, enhance research in evidence based outcomes, and support universities that establish degree programs to train P&O specialists. Steven A. Gard, PhD, Executive Director of the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) and a Research Health Scientist with the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, stated that from June 2013 NUPOC will offer a Master’s degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO).
Dr. Gard thanked Senator Durbin for sponsoring the legislation, “We deeply appreciate your dedicated support for veterans, their healthcare, and the medical research that improves their daily lives. The Wounded Warrior Research Enhancement Act will provide the necessary funding to increase our understanding and develop better technologies to serve individuals who use prostheses and orthoses.” NUPOC is the oldest and largest P&O program in the USA, graduating more prosthetist-orthotists than any other school. Dr. Gard concluded, “Through education, science, engineering and related disciplines, NUPOC is dedicated to developing and providing limb replacements (prostheses), structural and movement aids (orthoses), and P&O professionals to help humans affirm their lives with wholeness. NUPOC strongly supports the goals of Senator Durbin’s legislation and hopes that Congress will act quickly to enact these important bills.”
See video of Senator Durbin announcing the P&O research and education legislation (Link opens a new site): http://durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/videos?ID=2b971fe3-864a-4340-939d-411fb666c690.
March 7, 2013 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to speak at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Monthly Veterans Research Forum. Dr. Fatone introduced the veterans to “A New Socket for Persons with Above Knee Amputation” based on her research funded by the USA Department of Defense to develop a flexible subischial socket with vacuum assisted suspension for highly active persons with transfemoral amputation. The presentation generated intense interest among veterans about how the socket works, how it is fabricated, and the most suitable candidates for its use.
February 20-23, 2013 -- NUPOC research presented at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetics (AAOP) 39th Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium in Orlando included: 1) Perceptions of Prosthetics and Orthotics Research within the Prosthetics and Orthotics Community (Fatone, Schweitzer and Gard); 2) Role of Socket Design, Flexibility and Suspension in Transfemoral Sockets during Walking (Fatone, Howell, Caldwell, Komolafe and Stine R); 3) Effect of Socket Characteristics on Coronal Plane Stability during Gait in Persons with Unilateral Transfemoral Amputation (Fatone, Stine and Tillges); and 4) Organized Session: Learn Patient Reported Outcomes for your Adult and Pediatric Patients (Wynne, Fatone, Bertram, Coulter and Kaluf).
February 7, 2013 -- ISPO awarded the 2013 Yeongchi Wu International Educational Award to Mr. Sushant Veer (India, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Chennai) for his article “Design of a Standing Wheelchair.” Award recipients are selected by ISPO representatives for a new or innovative P&O technique or product developed by an individual. This award recognizes contributions to the field of Prosthetics and Orthotics by innovators in lower income countries. Read more about the Yeongchi Wu Prize: www.ispoint.org/news/indian-sushant-veer-winner-yeongchi-wu-prize-hyderabad-india.
February 4-7, 2013 -- NUPOC researchers Steven A. Gard, PhD, Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), Yeongchi Wu, MD, NUPOC graduate Sara Koehler, PhD, and doctoral candidate Kiki Zissimopoulos, MS, attended the 14th World Congress of the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) in Hyderabad, India. NUPOC presented 15 research reports, including podium presentations, free papers, symposia and poster presentations about an extensive array of Prosthetics and Orthotics foci, including clinical outcome measures and new fabrication technology.
February 5, 2013 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons); Andrew Hansen, PhD (Minneapolis VA Health Care System); and Elaine Owen, MSc, MBE (Child Development Centre, Bangor, Wales, UK) chaired the ISPO 2013 Symposium, From Stable Standing to ‘Rock’nRoll’ Walking, in Hyderabad, India. This symposium bridges the fields of lower limb orthotic and prosthetic practice by focusing on combination designs for ankle-foot orthosis footwear and lower limb prostheses. These devices have direct relevance to current clinical practice and future research that applies to adults and children.
Handouts for the ISPO 2013 Symposium, From Stable Standing to ‘Rock’nRoll’ Walking, are available below. Click the link to download the PDF.
Owen E (2004) "Shank angle to floor measures" and tuning of "Ankle-foot orthosis footwear combinations" for children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other conditions. MSc thesis. Glasgow: University of Strathclyde.
Owen E (2005) “Proposed Clinical Algorithm for Deciding the Sagittal Angle of the Ankle in an Ankle-Foot Orthosis Footwear Combination” Gait and Posture 22S: S38-39.
Owen E (2005) “A Clinical Algorithm for the Design and Tuning of Ankle-Foot Orthosis Footwear Combinations (AFOFCs) based on Shank Kinematics” Gait & Posture 22S:S36-37.
February 6, 2013 -- The February 2013 release of FSM Researcher, issued by the Feinberg School of Medicine Research Office, features “Understanding Disability and its Mechanisms” on pages 1-2. The article examines innovative research projects conducted in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation by Elliot Roth, MD; Thomas Schnitzer, MD, PhD; Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons); and Matthew Major, PhD. Read about these innovative research projects that improve function for people who live with physical impairments: http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/research/docs/newsletters/February2013.pdf
January 28, 2013 -- Steven A. Gard, PhD, co-authored with Jonathan Sensinger, PhD, and Nattaporn Intawachirarat, MEng, “Contribution of Prosthetic Knee and Ankle Mechanisms to Swing-Phase Foot Clearance” in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 21(1):74-80, January 2013. This study examines the effect of different types of prosthetic knee mechanisms on swing phase foot clearance of transfemoral amputees. Data were analyzed from 10 transfemoral prosthesis users who were fitted with single-axis knees, and computer simulations were used to determine how they might walk with 4-bar knees. Additional simulations were performed to investigate prosthetic ankle mechanisms that dorsiflex during swing to further increase toe clearance. Results showed that prosthetic ankles that dorsiflex provide the greatest foot clearance during prosthetic swing phase, and that four-bar knees provide greater foot clearance than single-axis knees.
January 16, 2013 -- Chris Robinson, ATC, MBA, CPO, FAAOP, a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, is interviewed by the Academy about his career interests. He reflects on his introduction to P&O while studying sports medicine and his passion for this evolving field. Recognizing the contributions of his mentors to his personal and professional development, he urges P&O practitioners to mentor new talent within the discipline. Mr. Robinson identifies a crucial need for access to good P&O clinical care and links it to the benefits of a mandated entry-level master’s education and rigorous residency standards. Read his interview in its entirety:
December 21, 2012 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was awarded supplemental funding through the Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program (JWMRP) to augment and accelerate high priority Department of Defense (DoD) initiatives that imminently will achieve their objectives and yield a benefit to military medicine. This funding will supplement work on the Development of Subischial Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations (Award #W81XWH-10-0744). Vacuum-assisted suspension uses an active pump to create a negative pressure differential between the interior of a prosthetic socket and the surface of a residual limb. The original project developed plans and submitted patent applications for three hybrid, integrated electric/mechanical pump systems that require further development achieve full maturity and deployment within the military environment. The objectives of this supplemental funding are to prototype and test these three hybrid vacuum pumps to create suitable vacuum for prosthesis suspension in highly active persons with transfemoral amputation. Joining Dr. Fatone on this project are postdoctoral fellow, Matthew Major, PhD, and NUPOC instrument maker, Dilip Thaker.
December 20, 2012 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and her research that aims to create a flexible, low-profile prosthetic socket are featured in Outcomes, the quarterly newsletter for the Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research (CROR). Dr. Fatone is Principal Investigator on "Development of Subischial Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations", funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. Read about Dr. Fatone's work on flexible prosthetic sockets and her other research projects at: www.ric.org/pdf/CROR__OutcomesFall12.pdf. Dr. Fatone and CROR also conduct collaborative research projects.
Perspectives Charter High School Students from left to right: Alejandra Jacobo-Cardenas, Loren Lowery, Ashley Adams, Tia Young, Hope Jernigan, Cynthia Botello, Romanus Hutchins, Noami Hernandez, Deion Caldwell, and Crystal Onate.
December 5, 2012 -- In conjunction with Northwestern University Family and Community Medicine’s Chicago Community Engagement Program (CCEP) and the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG), a group of 11th grade students from the Perspectives Charter High Schools (Chicago) participated in an educational tour of NUPOC. Acting in accord with their school motto, “Educating for college, preparing for life”, Perspectives Charter High School students toured NUPOC and learned about education and research career prospects in the field of P&O. CCEP engages FSM students to participate actively in community health activities and supports them with guidance and resources. Annually, FSM medical student volunteers work with CCEP to organize and sponsor internships for high school students with the objective of introducing different aspects of the medical field. With CCEP, the high school student interns practice academic, professional, and social skills that are essential for success as university students and as employees in all occupations. NUPOC appreciates Ingrid Masterton, MPT; Marynia Kolak, MFA, CCEP Coordinator; Amy Lu, 2nd year FSM student; and R. J. Garrick, PhD, for developing this collaborative opportunity.
December 3, 2012 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was an invited keynote speaker at two one-day, multi-disciplinary instructional courses on the “Orthotic Management of Stroke” for the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, Australian National Member Society. As part of the instructional course, Dr. Fatone also delivered a hands-on workshop, “Using Outcome Measures to Assess the Effect of Ankle-Foot Orthoses on Gait”. She demonstrated how to administer stroke-specific outcome measures and how to use these data to evaluate the effectiveness of orthotic interventions and adjustments. She delivered keynotes and workshops in Canberra on November 30 and again in Melbourne on December 3. Dr. Fatone has presented this well-received workshop to rehabilitation specialists and allied health professionals in the Philippines, Sweden, and the USA.
November 29, 2012 -- More than 30 individuals nationwide attended a live webinar presented by Craig Heckathorne, MSc. The webinar, Prosthetics for Farmers and Ranchers: What Is Used and What Is Needed, was presented for the AgrAbility Virtual National Training Workshop and will be archived and accessible through this site: http://www.agrability.org/Online-Training/index.cfm
November 27, 2012 -- Fifty science students from Crystal Lake South High School (CLSHS) visited NUPOC to learn about careers in rehabilitation engineering and Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O). NUPOC Executive Director Steven A. Gard, PhD, provided an overview about research and education programs, current projects and funding sources. Craig Heckathorne, MSc, discussed upper extremity prostheses. Rebecca Stine, MS, and Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, demonstrated motion analysis and discussed human gait and movement. Matty Major, PhD, discussed Clinical Outcome Measures and assisted student volunteers in demonstrating functional tests. R. J. Garrick, PhD, facilitated the tour.
November 20, 2012 -- Matty Major, PhD, presented "Clinical and Biomechanical Measures for Evaluating Upright Balance in Individuals with Lower Limb Amputation" at the Quarterly Faculty Research Meeting for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The meeting was held in the Heyworth Room of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
November 16, 2012 -- Steven A. Gard, PhD, participated in the Waubonsie Valley High School Medical Professionals Day where he presented information about NUPOC research and education programs. NUPOC educational and community outreach at high school career events provides students with important information about possible career opportunities in Northwestern University biomedical engineering (BME) programs and clinical P&O at NUPOC. Participating students responded positively to Dr. Gard’s presentation, asked questions, and some students expressed interest in pursuing these career paths.
November 12, 2012 -- Sara Koehler, PhD, successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, "Neuromechanical Mechanisms of Prosthetic Knee Joint Control: Associations with Prosthetic Alignment”. Her research investigated the locomotor strategies used by persons with transfemoral amputation to coordinate the movement of a passive prosthetic knee joint during the stance phase of gait. Her findings indicated that subjects responded to a destabilizing alignment perturbation by increasing their hip extension moment during early stance. They also decreased the rate at which they loaded their prosthesis, decreased their step length, increased their trunk flexion, and maintained their limb in a more vertical posture at the time of opposite toe off, suggesting that a hip torque strategy alone was perhaps insufficient to counteract the effect of the alignment perturbation. Dr. Koehler’s findings suggest new insights into the biomechanical mechanisms that contribute to sagittal stability and control of a passive prosthetic knee joint. Steven A. Gard, PhD, was her doctoral committee chair.
October 29-31, 2012 -- As the final part of a 3-year project funded by the US Department of Defense (Grant #W81XWH-10-1-0744) to develop a flexible subischial prosthetic socket for highly active persons with transfemoral amputation, Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), Principal Investigator, and Ryan Caldwell, CP/L, study prosthetist, visited the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.. The CFI is a state-of-the-art facility for US military personnel who have sustained amputations, burns, or functional limb loss during their service in Afghanistan and Iraq. CFI offers cutting-edge technologies designed to be used for rehabilitation, research, education, and training. Dr. Fatone and Mr. Caldwell worked with CFI collaborators, Jason Wilken, PhD, and John Fergason, CP, to transition the project socket technology for final performance evaluation with military subjects. During the three day visit, Dr. Fatone and Mr. Caldwell enrolled three subjects; cast, fabricated, and fit check sockets; reviewed the draft instructional manual for socket fabrication; and finalized details of the study protocol.
October 25, 2012 -- NUPOC welcomes International Scholar, José Zavaleta, a Biomedical Engineering student at Iberoamericana University (Mexico City). During nine months at NUPOC, Mr. Zavaleta will work collaboratively with researchers, Steven A. Gard, PhD, and Matthew Major, PhD, on a modular prosthetic component that adapts during walking to changes in surface. His collaboration at NUPOC is approved by his university department as a start-to-finish prosthesis design and development project that will culminate in a publishable article, scientific poster, and public presentation.
October 13, 2012 -- The Northwestern University Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (NURERC) for Prosthetics and Orthotics hosted “Spreading the Word: Promoting Clinically-Relevant Knowledge in P&O”, the 2012 State of the Science (SOS) Meeting at NUPOC. The symposium focused on Knowledge Translation (KT) in Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O). Stakeholders included educators, researchers, clinicians, client‐users, and manufacturers who collaborated to identify challenges and solutions to the delivery and effective integration of knowledge in Prosthetics and Orthotics.
The NURERC 2012 State of the Science Meeting encouraged discussion among many stakeholders about Knowledge Translation in P&O.
October 8 -- Matthew Major, PhD, presented “Validation of the Berg Balance Scale for Individuals with Lower Limb Amputation” at the Clinical Research Grand Rounds at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). Co-authors on this work are EJ Roth, MD, and S Fatone, PhD. The Clinical Research Grand Rounds are presented monthly by and for clinicians who focus on active, patient-oriented research.
October 4 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was the Fall 2012 NIDRR Invited Lecturer in Outcomes Research for the NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Improving Measurement of Medical Rehabilitation Outcomes held by the Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research (CROR). This lectureship required Dr. Fatone to address two different, multidisciplinary audiences. On October 4, 2012, she addressed the Center for Healthcare Studies Seminar Series, where she presented Outcome Measurement for Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinical Practice. CROR, the Department of Medical Social Sciences (MSS), The Buehler Center on Aging, and VA Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care (CMC), co-hosted Dr. Fatone’s presentation. On October 10, 2012, Dr. Fatone presented Efforts to Improve Outcome Measurement in Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinical Practice at the RIC Grand Rounds. Attendees learned about the field of P&O; available and needed outcome measures in P&O; and challenges to the implementation of outcome measures within P&O clinical practice.
October 4 – Trained in the Orthopädieteknik system of German-speaking countries (Austria, Germany, and Switzerland), Mr. Petersen and Mr. Jacob are meisters of prosthetics and orthotics who currently specialize in neurological orthotics. Both gentlemen are completing their Master’s of Science degree at Danube University Krems (Austria). Also, they work at Balgrist, Switzerland, with orthopedic surgeon Martin Berli, MD, who spoke at NUPOC in March 2012.
September 27-29, 2012 -- NUPOC educators and researchers reported on research projects at the Midwest Chapter of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. NUPOC contributors and their presentations were: RCaldwell, “Progress Report: Sub-Atmospheric Suspension for Transfemoral Amputees”; SKoehler, “Transfemoral Prosthetic Alignment: When Does It Matter?”; OKomolafe and SFatone, “Stress Analysis of Different Transfemoral Prosthetic Socket Frame Designs”; MMajor, “Validation of the Berg Balance Scale for Individuals with Lower Limb Amputation”; JMichael, “Update on NUPOC’s MPO Program”; CRobinson, “The NCOPE Residency: Training the Next Generation of Practitioner”; and CRobinson, YWu, JMichael, “Development of a Low-Cost Dilatancy-Based System for Orthotic Fabrication: A Preliminary Report”.
September 14, 2012 -- Erin Boutwell, MS, and Kiki Zissimopoulos, MS, spoke about their research at “7-Minutes of Science: An Interdisciplinary Symposium” (Evanston). They communicated conceptual information about their doctoral work in biomedical engineering to an audience of any or no scientific background. The event was hosted by “Ready Set Go”, a multidisciplinary program that empowers Northwestern University graduate students with communication skills. Ms. Boutwell presented "With a Spring in One's Step: How Low-Stiffness Prostheses Can Influence Walking"; Ms. Zissimopoulos presented "Step by Step: Walking Post-Stroke".
See Erin Boutwell, MS, present “With a Spring in One’s Step: How Low-Stiffness Prostheses Can Influence Walking”:
Learn more about Ready Set Go: http://rsg.northwestern.edu/index.html
September 12-15, 2012 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), attended the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) 66th Annual Meeting in Toronto, ON, Canada on September 12-15, 2012. She presented an instructional course, “The Importance of Being Earnest about Shank and Thigh Kinematics when Designing, Aligning and Tuning Ankle-Foot Orthosis Footwear Combinations (AFO-FC)”, with Elaine Owen, MSc, SRP, MCSP, (Head of the Community Paediatric Physiotherapy Department for North West Wales, UK); Deborah Gaebler-Spira, MD, (Director, Cerebral Palsy Program, Director, Early Intervention Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Professor of Pediatrics and PM&R, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine); and Donald McGovern, CPO, (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago). Dr. Fatone and colleagues first presented this information at a “Breakfast with the Experts” session at the 2010 AACPDM meeting where it was well-received, leading to 2011 and 2012 presentations as instructional courses. Dr. Fatone is collaborating with Dr. Gaebler-Spira and Mr. McGovern on two funded research projects that explore the orthotic management of children with cerebral palsy. See: www.nupoc.northwestern.edu/research/orthotics/pilotstudy_Ox_UltraFlex.html
and www.nupoc.northwestern.edu/research/orthotics/Improve_LE_Ox_Mgt_CP.html Ms. Owen frequently presents on the AFO-FC concept.
September 7, 2012 -- NUPOC researchers presented posters and participated in the 2nd Annual Musculoskeletal Research (MRS) Training Day in the Feinberg School of Medicine. NUPOC submitted the following posters (the presenter’s name is underlined): “Effect of Fusion Surgery on Static and Dynamic Sagittal Spinal Alignment” by Pranitha Gottipati, PhD, Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), Tyler Koski, MD, and Aruna Ganju, MD; “Upper Body Kinematics of Bilateral Transtibial Prosthesis Users during Gait” by Matty Major, PhD, Rebecca Stine, MS, Megan Hodgson, and Steven A. Gard, PhD; and “Quantification of Transfemoral Prosthetic Socket Fabrication” by Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, Kerice Tucker, BS, Ryan Caldwell, CP/L, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons).
August 22, 2012 -- Azucena Rodriguez, PhD, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), presented a live webinar, “Spinal Motion during Walking in Persons with Transfemoral Amputation with and without Low Back Pain”. Co-authors are Rebecca Stine, MS, and Steven A. Gard, PhD. Thirty-five individual across the nation attended this webinar, which will be archived and can be accessed at no charge at the Academy Paul E. Leimkuehler Online Learning Center (OLC). The 1.5 MCE exam for Continuing Education Credit (approved for ABC, BOC and CB) requires a fee. This NIDRR-funded research was awarded the 2012 Howard R. Thranhardt Lecture Award at the 38th American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium.
August 20, 2012 -- Kim Greitemann and Thomas Glapa (Bad Rothenfelde, Germany) visited NUPOC to learn about state-of-the-art education in prosthetics and orthotics. Ms. Greitemann is completing her medical education and expects to specialize in orthopedic surgery. She has a strong interest in neuro-musculo-skeletal rehabilitation.
Edward Grahn, BS, Associate Director of NUPOC, greeted the visitors and reviewed the history of the NUPOC education and research programs. They toured NUPOC facilities, including the P&O fabrication and fitting rooms, classrooms, machine shop, and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Motion Analysis Research Laboratory. Steven A. Gard, PhD, Executive Director of NUPOC, provided an overview of NUPOC research projects. Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, explained the use of CAD/CAM in creating sockets and device prototypes. Ms. Greitemann and Mr. Glapa had an opportunity for observation-participation when Yeongchi Wu, MD, presented the process of 3-dimensional dilatancy casting for use in prosthetics and orthotics. Appropriate for use even in developing economies, the dilatancy casting process is fast, economical, environmentally friendly.
August 15-18, 2012 -- Matty Major, PhD, attended the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Major chaired the session, “Powered Exoskeletons & Prosthetics”; and, as first author, he presented “Upper Body Kinematics of Bilateral Transtibial Prosthesis Users during Gait” in the Thematic Poster Presentation. Other authors on this work were R. Stine, M. Hodgson, and S. Gard.
August 13-16, 2012 -- Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, represented the NUPOC research team at the Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS) held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, from August 13-16 2012. Dr. Komolafe is a member of a team at NUPOC that is working on "Development of Sub-Ischial Prosthetic Sockets with Assisted-Vacuum Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations" (Stefania Fatone, PhD, Principal Investigator).The 3-year project is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Komolafe presented a poster, "Quantification of Transfemoral Prosthetic Socket Fabrication".
August 2012 -- Jeff Henderson has been awarded the 2012 Dale Yasukawa Scholarship. Mr. Henderson completed his Orthotics Certificate (NUPOC, 2009) and is in process of completing his Prosthetics Certificate (NUPOC BLP16). He participated in a NUPOC-IS P&O trip to Zacapa, Guatemala. The Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation (OPAF) awards the scholarship to a NUPOC student to help pay for registration fees at AAOP meetings; and to purchase books, supplies and equipment for study at NUPOC.
August 2012 -- Researchers at the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) are proud to announce a new online, continuing education opportunity for all certified orthotists and prosthetists in the United States. Linda Ehrlich-Jones, PhD, RN, (Clinical Research Scientist, Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research (CROR), RIC) presents a free, educational module entitled Quality Improvement: What Is It and How Do We Use It? This 15-minute presentation has been approved by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) for 0.5 continuing education credit. To receive credit, learners are required to pass a 10-question quiz and complete a course evaluation at the end of the presentation.
Content includes a description of the benefits of continuous quality improvement efforts and step-by-step instruction on implementing such a project. Quality improvement initiatives have the potential to improve patient service, increase clinician and support staff effectiveness, and minimize cost by continuously identifying areas for targeted improvement. The outcome of such efforts can lead to improved patient satisfaction with clinical services and products, improved function, and, ultimately, improved quality of life. To register, email Lauri Connelly, Clinical Research Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 24, 2012 – Members of the Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research (CROR) updated progress about NIDRR-funded projects that NUPOC and CROR conduct collaboratively. Allen Heinemann, PhD, Linda Ehrlich-Jones, PhD, RN, and Lauri Connelly, MS, OTR/L. CCRC, reported about two projects: Enhancing Quality of Prosthetic and Orthotic Services with Process and Outcome Information; and Promoting Outcomes Management in Prosthetics Practice. The second project is culminating with the launch of a free continuing education (CE) credit designed for P&O specialists. CPOs may register for this CE by contacting Lauri Connelly: email@example.com
July 23, 2012 -- A publication about NIDRR-funded research (Waldera KE. “Assessing the Prosthetic Needs of Farmers and Ranchers with Amputations”. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. July 10, 2012. [Epub ahead of print]), is in the spotlight. Access the article at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22779443 This research was conducted by Kathryn Waldera, MS, Craig Heckathorne, MSc, Maggie Parker, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons).
The Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM) is featuring this research project on the FSM NEWSCENTER at: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2012/07/farmers-artificial-limbs.html
OandP Business News also has reported about the NURERC research project about farmers and ranchers with amputations: http://www.healio.com/orthotics-prosthetics/prosthetics/news/print/o-and-p-business-news/%7B76ECC041-3141-4A8B-8796-78D50BBE0825%7D/Prosthetic-Limbs-Inadequate-for-Farmer-Rancher-Use
The abstract and article are available here: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17483107.2012.699994 Included in the overview about Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC), the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) reported on the NURERC research project about farmers and ranchers with amputations. See the summary here: http://www.icontact-archive.com/NsBpmvLZIc8EXYklWmZKh2x4nL6HYUwB?w=3
July 17, 2012 -- Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering, and an Affiliate in the Neuroscience Program, Center on Health, Aging and Disability, Center for Autonomous Engineering Systems and Robotics, the Department of Bioengineering, and the Department of Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented “Portable Powered Ankle-Foot-Orthosis (PPAFO) for Gait and Rehabilitation” to the NUPOC Research Seminar.
Dr. Hsiao-Wecksler directs the Human Dynamics and Controls Laboratory, which focuses on the investigation of human posture and movement control with specific interests in developing measurement tools and assistive devices to improve functional gait and balance. Her group is collaborating with other engineering groups to develop a Portable Powered AFO (PPAFO) that provides joint stability and prevents foot drop, while also providing modest torque at the ankle to assist with propulsion. The PPAFO is being designed to address the need for “active” assistive torque at the ankle to restore the lost neuromuscular function necessary to plantarflex the foot during the push-off phase of stance, and thus increase walking efficiency. She envisions that this device may be useful for acute post-stroke rehabilitation.
July 12, 2012 -- The Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators (FAME) has welcomed John T. Brinkmann as a Searle Fellow for the 2012-2013 Academic Year. FAME promotes the growth and development of medical educators, facilitating implementation of best educational practices for educational resources; a network of educator opportunities, mentoring, and faculty development. Mr. Brinkmann will develop a program to foster medical education about prosthetics and orthotics.
July 12, 2012 -- Ingrid Masterton, MSPT, has completed the Medical Education Research Certificate (MERC) through the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
July 9, 2012 -- The Feinberg News Center has published a feature article about the NUPOC International Service (NUPOC-IS) program that collaborates with the Range of Motion Project (ROMP). This article highlights ROMP founders, David Krupa, CP, and Eric Neufeld, CPO, who graduated from NUPOC, and the volunteerism of NUPOC prosthetists and orthotists who have participated in NUPOC-IS. Read "NUPOC Graduates Restoring Lives, Teaching Future Doctors at Clinic in Guatemala": http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/news/2012/07/romp.html
July 6-8, 2012 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was an invited headline speaker at the 3rd Annual Convention in Prosthetics and Orthotics, “Current Trends in Pediatric Gait Analysis and P&O Management”, hosted by Physicians for Peace, in cooperation with the Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (PARM), at University of the Philippines (Manila). Dr. Fatone conducted multiple didactic sessions, including Overview: Instrumented Gait Analysis; Outcome Measures in Gait Analysis; 2D Video Based Assessment of Gait; Outcome Measures in Orthotics; The Ankle Foot Orthosis-Footwear Combination Approach; and Evidence for Orthotic Management of Stroke. She also presented a talk on Pediatric Orthotics to clinicians in the Rehabilitation Department at the Philippine Children's Medical Center.
May-August 2012 -- James Schweitzer is the NURERC Scholar for 2012. He is working collaboratively with Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and other NURERC researchers and educators on NIDRR-funded research projects; and he has conducted the analysis, comparison and thematic presentation of data from 2012 and 2006 NUPOC State of the Science Surveys. Living with a lower limb amputation subsequent to congenital fibular hemimelia, James has both client-user and burgeoning professional perspectives on the functional design and durability of prosthetic legs and ankle-foot systems. He is an avid sportsman and plays baseball, football, and basketball. Mr. Schweitzer will complete his Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology (2013) at DePauw University (Greencastle, IN) and plans to pursue a Master’s in Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO). Learn more about the NURERC Scholar Program.
June-August 2012 -- Support of training and education in rehabilitation engineering research is part of the NUPOC mission. Meet the 2012 Summer NUPOC Research Externs: Wesley Fong (2011 BS Mechanical Engineering, Kettering University, Flint, MI); David Kluger (2012 BS Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University); Rachel Mollard (rising junior, Biomedical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA); Macdonnell Stanford (Biology and PreMed, Northwestern University); and Akash Veerapaneni (rising senior, St Charles East High School).
We welcome and appreciate these NUPOC Externs who volunteer to work with NUPOC researchers, assist with ongoing rehabilitation engineering research projects, and thus develop their research skills and knowledge in biomedical engineering.
June 29, 2012 -- NUPOC Blended Learning Program (BLP15) celebrated their graduation with the presentation of certificates, congratulations from NUPOC faculty, and a Keynote by Holly Bennett. Ms. Bennett reflected on the supportive and collegial relationships that she and her cohort forged during their NUPOC education. She urged her classmates to be life-long learners and to contribute to the P&O profession. Graduates of NUPOC BLP15 joined a respected cadre of NUPOC graduates and P&O professionals.
June 20, 2012 -- Surgical, clinical, and education specialists in P&O visited NUPOC from Japan. NUPOC was delighted to welcome Seishi Sawamura, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Principal of Kobe College of Medical Welfare (KCMW), Former President of International Society Prosthetics Orthotics (ISPO); Eiji Tazawa, PhD, Vice-President of Tazawa Manufacturing and former President of ISPO; Ms. Machiko Saito, Executive Director of KCMW; and Mr. Mitshuhiko Uchida, Prosthetist/Orthotist and Director General of the KCMW Sanda Campus.
Bryan Malas, MHPE, CO, Director Orthotics-Prosthetics Department, Moira Tobin Wickes Orthotics Program, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, was the local host to this group. Following an informational tour of NUPOC, Steven A. Gard, PhD; John Michael, MEd, CPO, FAAOP, FISPO; and Mr. Malas participated in a round-table discussion about P&O standards, educational curricula, and training programs in the USA.
June 17-19, 2012 -- Azucena Rodriguez, PhD, attended the 2012 National Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award Conference (IRACDA) hosted by the PENN-PORT program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Rodriguez learned about working with Minority Serving Institutions to improve educational curricula and participated in professional development activities. The conference emphasized approaches that help increase the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.
June 15, 2012 -- William Brett (BJ) Johnson, PhD, was conferred a doctorate in the PhD Hooding Ceremony of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University. Dr. Johnson's Academic Advisor, Steven A. Gard, PhD, draped the hood representing a doctorate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Johnson investigated and wrote his doctoral dissertation on "Modeling the Effects of Hip Joint Stiffness on RGO-Assisted Gait". Congratulations, Dr. Johnson!
June 1, 2012 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Larissa Pavone, MD (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), have been awarded a Small Grant Award from the Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF) for their study, Improving Lower Extremity Orthotic Management of Children with Cerebral Palsy.
May 31 – June 2, 2012 -- Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, was an invited attendee at “Transitioning to Faculty Life: A Conference for Postdocs Historically Underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math” (STEM). The Northwestern University Office of Postdoctoral Affairs granted Dr. Komolafe a travel award for postdoctoral professional development to attend this conference. Conducted at Ohio State University, the conference was co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE project and Comprehensive Equity at Ohio State.
May 7, 2012 -- NUPOC and NUPOC graduate, Scott Riddle (BLP14), are recognized as the 2012 Student Impact Finalist for Sonic Foundry’s Rich Media Impact Awards. The annual Student Impact Award recognizes an individual student, as well as his/her college or university, whose educational experience has been enhanced through rich media. Mr. Riddle receives a $1,500 scholarship for his submission. Thank you to Jeremy Fox for accepting the award on behalf of NUPOC and Scott Riddle.
April 26, 2012 -- Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, and Matty Major, PhD, presented Prosthetic Legs & Simulated Prosthetic Legs. Children had the opportunity to wear prosthetic limb simulator boots, courtesy of College Park Industries (Fraser, MI). They learned the main parts of lower limb prostheses; how prostheses are suspended; materials used to make prosthetic foot-ankles; and how prosthetic feet affect the way a person walks. Erin Boutwell, MS, and Azucena Rodriguez, PhD, assisted this presentation. Ingrid Masterton, MPT, presented Orthotic Devices. Children learned about orthotic devices by trying them on and using them. They gained insight into why people need orthotic devices and how these devices work. Craig Heckathorne, MSc, presented How Upper Limb Prostheses Work. Children examined and manipulated prosthetic arms and terminal devices. They learned about the parts of upper limb prostheses; the difference between body powered and myoelectric powered control; and the grip functions of biological and prosthetic hands.
NUPOC appreciates College Park Industries (Fraser, MI) for loaning the CPI prosthetic simulator boots for use in this educational program. Learn about College Park, Inc. at www.college-park.com
April 2012 -- Ms. Marzán-Harding began her career as a mechanical engineer (BS, Mechanical Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology, 2000) and became a prosthetic technician in 2005. She holds NUPOC certifications in Prosthetics and Orthotics NUPOC (2006, 2007). After completing her residencies and national Board examinations, she worked at Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics in Pensacola, FL, where she treated a diverse clientele that presented with a broad spectrum of P&O conditions. Ms. Marzán-Harding’s clinical P&O skills are comprehensive, including adult and pediatric P&O, sports prosthetics, and lower extremity prosthetic specialization with C-leg certification. Her clinical interests include the orthotic management of adolescent scoliosis and infantile plagiocephaly; application of electrical stimulation to reduce gait deficits after central nervous system disorders; and combining Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and microprocessor-controlled knee mechanisms to enhance prosthetic rehabilitation. She is interested in applying P&O research to clinical practice.
Ms. Marzán-Harding joins NUPOC as a core member of the new faculty for the inaugural Master’s in Prosthetics & Orthotics (MPO) program slated to begin in July 2013. She is instructing classroom and laboratory courses in P&O for the remaining NUPOC post-graduate Certificate programs.
April 2012 -- Mr. Brinkmann earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Prosthetics & Orthotics at the School of Allied Health, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (1990); and completed clinical rotations at Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, Baylor University, and Dallas Rehabilitation Institute. After completing residencies in Iowa and South Carolina, Mr. Brinkmann passed his Boards. He has held multiple management positions, including directing the P&O operations of a multispecialty musculoskeletal practice in Rockford, Illinois since 2010.
He has completed numerous certificate courses offered by the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists. He is an AAOP member, and has been named a Fellow of that organization. Currently, he chairs the AAOP Gait Society, and is active in the Journal Club and Website Committee. In addition to directing a residency program in Peoria, Illinois, Mr. Brinkmann has lectured widely and published a series of literature reviews on contemporary clinical topics. His clinical interests include advanced upper limb and lower limb rehabilitation; P&O practice management; and business development. He is committed to the translation of P&O research into practical, clinical solutions.Mr. Brinkmann joins NUPOC as a core member of the new faculty for the inaugural Master’s in Prosthetics & Orthotics (MPO) program slated to begin in July 2013. He is instructing classroom and laboratory courses in P&O for the remaining NUPOC post-graduate Certificate programs.
April 19, 2012 -- Craig Heckathorne, MSc, presented a guest lecture, Upper-limb Prostheses: Myoelectric Control and Electric-powered Components, to the "Rehabilitation Engineering: Prosthetics, Orthotics, Seating & Positioning" class, taught by Associate Professor Barbara Silver-Thorn, Biomedical Engineering Department, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.
April 14, 2012 -- Craig Heckathorne, MSc, gave an invited presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Texas Association of Orthotists and Prosthetists (TAOP), San Antonio, TX. He presented Assessing and Responding to the Prosthetic Needs of Farmers and Ranchers, co-authored with Kathy Waldera, MS. See the TAOP meeting website: https://collaborate.northwestern.edu/owa/redir.aspx?C=4bdc7f23640c4e809446f8a4d6e36a39&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.taop.org%2ftaop-annual-meeting-2012.html Learn more about TAOP: http://www.taop.org
April 10-12, 2012 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to present as part of a panel on prosthetics and orthotics at the Design of Medical Devices Conference held at the University of Minneapolis from April 10-12, 2012. Dr. Fatone presented an overview of a “Sub-ischial prosthetic socket with vacuum-assisted suspension for persons with transfemoral amputation.” Work on this project is funded by the US Department of Defense.
April 4, 2012 -- NUPOC displayed its dedicated and multi-use facilities to Professors Lane Relyea, Jeanne Dunning, and Michael Rea (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences). Paul Weller and Elizabeth Hitchcock (NU Facilities Management) accompanied the WCAS group. R. J. Garrick, PhD, Associate Director Edward Grahn, and Christopher Robinson, CPO, MBA, conducted an informational introduction to NUPOC’s multi-use facilities, including the Smart Classroom that can be used for lectures, distance education conferences, and client interactions; the Assessment Room that is used for lectures, client examinations, and fittings; the Clean Lab that is used for didactic presentations, P&O bench work, client measurements, fittings, critical analysis, and more.
April 2, 2012 -- Elm Place Middle School (Highland Park, IL) geometry students and math instructor, Charles Yu, visited NUPOC to learn about rehabilitation engineering for orthotics and prosthetics. Focusing on the application of geometric principles, NUPOC researchers Matty Major, PhD, and Rebecca Stine, MS, discussed human motion analysis; Kerice Tucker, BS, demonstrated the application of geometric principles in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and rapid prototyping of prosthetic sockets; and Craig Heckathorne, MSc, discussed upper limb prostheses and the PADS test.
March 30, 2012 -- NUPOC BLP14 graduates celebrated their achievement in the classic Lincoln Auditorium. Virginia Gagliardi was the BLP14 class Keynote speaker. She urged her classmates to help others throughout their P&O careers and to maintain professional associations with the friends and colleagues they established during their NUPOC training. With an inspiring quote, “We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities” (Ralph Waldo Emerson), BLP-14 sailed out of NUPOC as P&O practitioners.
March 21-24, 2012 -- NIDRR funded research on “Spinal motion during walking in persons with transfemoral amputation with and without low back pain” presented by Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Azucena Rodgriguez, PhD, was awarded the Howard R. Thranhardt Lecture Award at the 38th American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. Co-authors on this work include Rebecca Stine, MS, and Steven A. Gard, PhD. The Thranhardt Lectures have become the most popular education programs at the Academy Annual Meeting. Thranhardt Lecture finalists are identified as the best abstracts submitted by the profession, recognizing individuals who are committed to advancing orthotic and prosthetic education and research.
NUPOC Researchers High Profile at 38th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists
March 21-24, 2012 -- NUPOC was well-represented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists held in Atlanta, Georgia. NUPOC attendees were Stefania Fatone, PhD, Steven A. Gard, PhD, Matthew Major, PhD, Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, and Azucena Rodriguez, PhD; doctoral candidates Angelika Zissimopoulos, MS, and Sarah Koehler, MS; and research prosthetist Ryan Caldwell, CP. The NUPOC researchers gave a total of 9 presentations. Dr. Fatone was a member of the clinical content committee that organized this conference; she also helped coordinate and moderate 3 sessions and participated in a workshop on outcome measures. Dr. Gard moderated a session on lower limb prosthetics.
March 19, 2012 -- Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, presented an overview of biomedical engineering (BME) and prosthetics at Career Day for 8th graders at Elm Place Middle School (Highland Park, IL). Dr. Komolafe focused on NUPOC research and development projects in upper and lower limb prostheses. To generate understanding and interaction, Dr. Komolafe encouraged students to handle and examine upper limb components, prosthetic feet, and a fully assembled lower limb prosthesis. Dr. Komolafe directly engaged the students’ interests and they responded with perceptive questions that reflected their career interests in BME, prosthetics and orthotics, and far-reaching issues in rehabilitation studies.
March 1, 2012 -- NUPOC Executive Director Steven A. Gard, PhD, facilitated the research seminar presented by orthopedic surgeons Martin Berli, MD (Zurich, Switzerland), Christoph Thaler, MD (Salzburg, Austria), Michael Pinzur, MD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation, Loyola University Medical Center (Chicago, IL), and engineer-prosthetist-orthotist Daniel Heitzmann, Dipl Ing (Heidelberg, Germany).
March 2012 -- Freek Verbakel, BSc, is conducting a ten week externship at NUPOC, where he works under the mentorship of Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), to analyze data about center of pressure progression in ankle-foot orthoses (AFO). He is examining roll-over shape in subjects who are tested in four different AFOs and uses MatLab and statistical progression in his data analysis. Mr. Verbakel is completing his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Intelligent Mechanical Systems (Delft University of Technology). Mr. Verbakel’s research will examine AFOs and spring balance mechanisms that yield improved walking motion.
February 2012 -- Ryan Caldwell’s work in sub-atmospheric prosthetic systems is featured in The Academy Today. Mr. Caldwell examines appropriate candidacy, diagnoses and resolution of problems in sub-atmospheric prosthetic socket technology. Read Mr. Caldwell’s articles: “Patient Selection for a Sub-Atmospheric Prosthetic System” and “Troubleshooting Sub-Atmospheric Systems” (Supplement of The O&P EDGE, February, 2012). Mr. Caldwell is a Research Prosthetist at NUPOC.
February 25, 2012 -- James C. Russ, CO, directed the Orthotics education program from 1973 to 1993. During this time, Mr. Russ trained many students for practitioner-level certification in orthotics and helped to elevate orthotics from a trade to an allied health profession. He successfully established post-secondary programs, standardized curricula, and established orthotic residencies. Mr. Russ received numerous awards, including the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) Outstanding Educator Award (1997). NUPOC recognizes the passing of a revered colleague.
February 25, 2012 -- NUPOC Research Engineer Craig Heckathorne, MSc, and Biomedical Engineering doctoral candidate, Erin Boutwell, MS, presented three career and educational workshops to 40 young women at the 41st Annual Career Day for Girls. Mr. Heckathorne discussed upper limb prostheses and Ms. Boutwell discussed lower limb prostheses and orthoses. Career Day participants handled many examples of upper- and lower-limb prosthetic components, and learned about research conducted at NUPOC. The annual event is sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers Northwestern University Chapter and the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science for girls who are interested in science and engineering careers.
January 2012 -- NUPOC welcomes Megan Carroll, who is conducting her Practicum at NUPOC for a Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) at Dominican University (Chicago). Ms. Carroll is interested in the management of medical information and her Practicum focuses on NUPOC’s special collection of P&O resources. She will inventory the collection, create a database of holdings, and propose long-term solutions for circulating materials. Her Practicum consists of 120 hours of on-site fieldwork and her project is jointly supervised by Northwestern University and Dominican University librarians.
January 31, 2012 -- Everyone in the P&O community was invited to participate in the NUPOC 2012 Research Survey (open until March 11, 2012) to express ideas about areas of P&O research that should be conducted during the next 5 to 10 years. The brief survey was voluntary and anonymous. Survey results will be discussed at the Northwestern University Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Prosthetics and Orthotics (NU-RERC) State of the Science (SOS) Meeting to be held later in 2012. NUPOC will compile these results in a report available to the public.
January 3, 2012 -- NUPOC welcomes Shenan Hoppe-Ludwig, CO, as the newest professional who will instruct and assist the Blended Learning Program. Ms. Hoppe-Ludwig completed the NUPOC Certificates in Prosthetics (2011) and Orthotics (2008), and her residency (2010) at MD Orthotic & Prosthetic Labs in Brookfield. Subsequently, she achieved her ABC Certification and Illinois License in Orthotics. Ms. Hoppe-Ludwig's multidisciplinary skills enhance her instructional and practice skills in Orthotics, including work as a Physical Medicine Technician and EMG Technician. Experienced in inpatient, outpatient, and wound clinics, Ms. Hoppe-Ludwig just returned from the December 2011 NUPOC International Service (NUPOC-IS) P&O outreach trip to Zacapa, Guatemala, where she contributed her clinical skills to improving mobility in an underserved population. An enthusiastic and congenial team worker, Ms. Hoppe-Ludwig is generous with her time and energy. Welcome to NUPOC, Shenan!
January 2012 -- NUPOC graduate Nick Ackerman wears many hats. Never defined by bilateral transtibial amputations, Nick uses all his skills to help other people with amputations. He completed his Prosthetics Certification at NUPOC and is Director of Prosthetics at American Prosthetics and Orthotics, Inc. While at Simpson College (Iowa), he won the 2001 NCAA Division Wrestling Championship and continues to encourage young wrestlers and other athletes with amputation. He uses the professional skills he learned at NUPOC and his personal experiences to be an informative mentor to others with lower limb amputation. Learn more about Mr. Ackerman at: http://www.oandp.com/articles/2006-06_05.asp See MSNBC coverage about Nick’s support of young athletes with amputation: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42590729/ns/today-today_people/#.TwGtK6NWpG5
December 5, 2011 -- William Brett Johnson, PhD, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, “Modeling the Effects of Hip Joint Stiffness on RGO-Assisted Gait”, submitted in the field of Biomedical Engineering to the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University. Dr. Johnson conducted his defense at NUPOC before a panel headed by his advisors, Steven A. Gard, PhD, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons). Dr. Johnson's project simultaneously evaluated the Lower Limb Paralysis Simulator's efficacy in modeling RGO-assisted gait and investigated how changes in hip joint stiffness may improve efficiency in RGO-assisted gait.
November 29, 2011 -- Crystal Lake South High School (CLSHS) science students visited NUPOC to learn about careers in Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) and biomedical/rehabilitation engineering. CLSHS seniors have visited NUPOC annually since 2007. This year, 45 science students were accompanied by CLSHS science instructors Mr. Rich Marrano and Mr. Brian Akenas. Health/PE instructor Ms. Beckie Stevenson and CLHS Career Center Supervisor Michelle Fitzgerald also attended.
NUPOC education and research personnel who contributed to the CLSHS educational tour include: Edward Grahn, Stefania Fatone, PhD, Craig Heckathorne, MSc, R. J. Garrick, PhD, Chris Robinson, CPO, Rebecca Stine, MS, Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, Erin Boutwell, MS, Sara Koehler, MS, William (BJ) Johnson, PhD, and Kiki Zissimopoulos, MS. Some of these high school seniors may pursue a career in biomedical engineering or P&O.
November 15, 2011 -- Ms. Masterton helped develop “Destination Chicago”, a pilot program in FSM that introduces new medical students to Chicago cultures and communities. Ms. Masterton noted, “I became involved through my role in the Feinberg Curriculum Renewal Project and my interest in the social determinants of health with respect to diabetes and amputation.” The project was launched as a way to improve understanding and collaboration among FSM professionals and their students as they proceed from course work, through training programs, and into actual clinical practice. Eventually, FSM students will assess the determinants of health, perform a health risk appraisal, and develop a behavior change plan. Read about this program in Ward Rounds (Fall 2011):
November 2, 2011 -- NUPOC postdoctoral fellow, Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD, attended a training session from October 4 to October 6, 2011 at the Redeye-Stratasys training facility in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Komolafe acquired knowledge in 3 areas: 1) use of Insight software for Stratasys; 2) system operation; and 3) finishing techniques for end-use parts. NUPOC plans to use Stratasys to prototype experimental transfemoral sockets. The recent introduction of some new high mechanical strength thermoplastics allows future use of Stratasys for the direct fabrication of experimental prosthetic and orthotic components.
The Stratasys Fusion Deposition Modeling (FDM) 400mcTM is part of the NUPOC CAD/CAM laboratory. Stratasys uses a fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique that allows researchers to fabricate rapid prototypes. This rapid prototyping machine uses data in the form of stereo lithography (STL) files that computers can use to make 3-dimensional objects, such as prosthetic sockets, liners and cosmetic coverings. Totally automatic, fabrication is accomplished by using a dispensing nozzle that deposits thin layers of liquefied plastic, which quickly hardens into a solid. Rapid prototyping with Stratasys FDM enables researchers to make early error correction and predict performance of the end product.
The sample brain gear shown here looks almost good enough to eat! A brain gear is a complex, articulating device commonly used to assess rapid prototyping systems. During Stratasys training Dr. Komolafe built a scaled down version of a brain gear to assess the resolution of the FDM system. The light-colored areas are intermeshed gears made with the thermoplastic model material, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). The dark-colored areas are the support material upon which the model material is built. The support material can be dissolved, leaving intact the intermeshed, articulating gears.
November 1, 2011 -- Azucena Rodriguez, PhD, judged undergraduate science posters and presentations in mechanical and biomedical engineering and provided interactive feedback at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Conference (October 27-30, 2011) in San Jose, CA. The conference featured students’ summer research projects and provided opportunities to network and exchange scientific ideas. Dr. Rodriguez is a member of SACNAS.
October 26, 2011 -- NUPOC welcomed Dr. Edward A. Hurvitz, MD, distinguished presenter of the 12th Annual Ben L. Boynton, MD, Lecture in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, “Growing Up with Cerebral Palsy”. Elliot Roth, MD, Professor and Chairperson of FSM Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, introduced Dr. Hurvitz to NUPOC personnel and facilities; and discussed the lab’s ongoing projects in prosthetic and orthotic research and education.
October 25, 2011 -- Levi Hargrove, PhD, was guest speaker at the weekly NUPOC Research Seminar. He presented “Control of Robotic Lower Limb Prostheses Using Neural Interfaces”. Dr. Hargrove examined the development of microprocessor controlled, actuated lower limb prostheses and provided an overview of the impedance control strategy currently used to control an actuated knee-prosthesis. He described challenges associated with measuring EMG signals from lower limb amputees and discussed areas for appropriate use of EMG signals to supplement the mechanical sensors to improve overall control. Dr. Hargrove is the Director of the Neural Engineering for Prosthetics and Orthotics Laboratory at RIC, a Research Scientist at the Center for Bionic Medicine at RIC, and a Research Assistant Professor for the Department of PM&R at Northwestern University. NUPOC doctoral candidate Sara Koehler, MS, hosted this research meeting.
Persons interested in rehabilitation engineering research are welcome to attend the NUPOC Research Seminar, held most Tuesdays from 2:00-3:00 P.M. Guests are advised to call (312-503-5700) in advance to confirm time, topic, and location.
October 20, 2011 -- Visit the Chicago Building Congress’ website to learn about architectural Merit Awards and see a photo of NUPOC’s custom-designed space. In May 2011, NUPOC won the 2011 Merit Award for Interior Buildouts.
October 14, 2011 -- NUPOC graduated its 13th Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) Certificate class from the Blended Learning Program (BLP13). This is one of the last remaining Certificate classes before NUPOC converts from a Certificate program to a 2-year Master’s degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO). Family and friends of BLP13 gathered at NUPOC where they enjoyed a convivial breakfast, conversed with faculty and students, and toured NUPOC laboratories and teaching facilities. At the graduation ceremony, NUPOC Associate Director John Michael, M.Ed., CPO, introduced faculty who taught the P&O courses: NUPOC Executive Director Steven A. Gard, PhD; Director Orthotics Education Desmond Masterton, CO, CPed; Assistant Director Orthotics Education Christopher Robinson, MBA, CPO, ATC, FAAOP; Director Prosthetics Education Thomas Karolewski, MS, CP, FAAOP; Assistant Director Prosthetics Education Jared Howell, CPO; and Assistant Professor Robert Lipschutz, CP. Chairman Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine Elliot J. Roth, MD, congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to use their professional skills to improve the lives of those who live with disabilities.
Prosthetics Certificate graduate Amanda Brown (2011) noted in her Keynote, “Even though all our instructors are very different, they all love to teach. Thank you for providing us with the educational, foundational knowledge that will guide us in making clinical decisions as we enter the field of O&P….so many unique individuals share one common interest and goal: to improve quality of life through Orthotics and Prosthetics. I am honored to be a Northwestern University graduate. Together, we can make a difference and truly impact the future of Orthotics and Prosthetics.”
September 14, 2011 -- NUPOC biomedical engineering graduate students and doctoral candidates, presented posters at BME Research Day held on the Evanston campus. Ms. Koehler won 2nd prize for her poster “The Effect of Transfemoral Prosthesis Alignment Perturbations on Gait”. Erin Boutwell, MS, presented “Effect of Prosthetic Stiffness on Shock Transmission in Transtibial Amputees”; and Kiki Zissimopoulos, MS, presented “Preliminary Investigation of Body Center of Mass Velocity during Post-stroke Ambulation”.
September 12, 2011 -- National Institute for Disability Rehabilitation Research Scholar (NIDRR) Shingo Takemoto joined NUPOC for two months of mentored research in rehabilitation engineering with respect to prosthetics and orthotics. Mr. Takemoto will work on design modifications to the NUPOC prosthetic ankle that adapts to surface slope. After transferring from Gallaudet University (2007), Mr. Takemoto graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering (2010) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Baltimore, MD. He is deaf with multi-cultural and multi-lingual expertise that enables him to communicate well in Japanese and English, as well as in Japanese, Korean, and American Sign Language (ASL). He is evaluating master’s programs and in the future plans to use his skills to improve the lives of people who live with physical disabilities.
Annually, we use a portion of NU-RERC funds to host an undergraduate student with disabilities. We provide opportunities for the scholar to participate in rehabilitation engineering research projects, thus encouraging and preparing young scholars to pursue a career in rehabilitation research.
September 1, 2011 -- William Brett (BJ) Johnson, MS, and Matthew Major, PhD, attended the 33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society from August 30 to September 3 in Boston, MA. Mr. Johnson spoke from the podium about “Modeling the Walking Patterns of Reciprocating Gait Orthosis Users with a Novel Lower-Limb Paralysis Simulator” (co-authors S. Fatone and S. Gard) in the Mechanics of Locomotion and Balance session.
August 29, , 2011 -- Tina Amirtha has joined NUPOC for two months as a research extern. She will focus on: 1) methods used for gait stability analysis; and 2) orthotics-assisted gait studies. She will participate in the NUPOC research project that examines stroke patients’ gait stability, specifically to determine the contribution of Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFO) to gait stability. Ms. Amirtha plans to conduct her master’s research under the mentorship of Jaap Harlaar, PhD, Human Movement Laboratory, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Research Institute MOVE, VU Amsterdam Medical Center. She will investigate gait stability in children with cerebral palsy.
July 27, 2011 -- Linda Olson, PhD, OTR/L, and students from the Rush Occupational Therapy Program visited NUPOC. They learned about upper limb prostheses from Craig Heckathorne, MSc; lower limb prostheses and computer aided design (CAD) of prosthetic sockets from Kerice Tucker; and the analysis of human gait and motion from Rebecca Stine, MS, and Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD.
August 23, 2011 -- Postdoctoral fellows who are conducting their research at NUPOC discussed their posters at the 1st Annual Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences (MRS) Training Day. NUPOC posters were: “Effect of Multi-segmental Spine Fusion Surgeries on Spine and Gait Kinematics” by P. Gottipati, S. Fatone, R. Stine, and A. Ganju; “Relationships between Amputee Independent Prosthesis Properties and Gait Performance: A Preliminary Study” by M. Major, M. Twiste, L. Kenney, and D. Howard; and “Spinal Motion during Walking in Persons with Transfemoral Amputation With and Without Low Back Pain” by A. Rodriguez, R. Stine, and S. Fatone. (First author indicates presenter.)
August 22, 2011 -- Japanese researchers from the Tokyo and Osaka regions visited NUPOC. The group included two biomedical engineers, one of whom was past NUPOC Visiting Scholar Kengo Ohnishi, PhD, Tokyo Denki University, and Isamu Kajitani, PhD, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Other members of the group included occupational therapists Yaeko Shibata, OT, Hyogo Rehabilitation Center; Junpei Oba, OT, Kobe Gakuin University; and Kumiko Sasao, OT, Saitama Prefectural University. Ms. Shibata and Mr. Oba presented “The Current State of Occupational Therapy for Upper Limb Amputees in Japan”. Stefania Fatone, PhD, presented “An Overview of NUPOC Research Projects”. Craig Heckathorne, MSc, discussed the NIDRR-funded project, “Meeting the Prosthetic Needs of Farmers and Ranchers”. Mr. Heckathorne also presented didactic and practicum sessions on myoelectric (ME) signal acquisition and fitting of upper extremity ME prostheses.
August 17 to 19, 2011 -- Craig Heckathorne, MSc, attended the MEC 2011 Myoelectric Controls Symposium in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He was an invited panelist for the symposium session “Raising the Standards”; and also presented “The Prosthetics Needs of Farmers and Ranchers with Upper-limb Amputations” (authored with K. Waldera) and “Using Motion Analysis to Augment Upper-limb Prosthetics Outcome Measures (authored with R. Stine).
August 11, 2011 -- Student participants in the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) visited NUPOC to consider opportunities in biomedical engineering, rehabilitation engineering, and prosthetics and orthotics (P&O). Stefania Fatone, BPO(Hons), PhD, presented an overview of P&O research career opportunities, and led a participation session that focused on “Clinical Outcome Measures”. Craig Heckathorne, MSc, presented “Upper Extremity Prostheses”. Biomedical engineering graduate students and doctoral candidates, BJ Johnson, MS, and Sara Koehler, MS, presented their ongoing doctoral research projects. Kiki Zissimopoulos, MS, joined Mr. Johnson and Ms. Koehler to present a panel discussion, “Choosing Your Future”.
August 7, 2011 -- Ms. Jacqueline Ziegler (NUPOC 2009, 2011) has received the 2011 Larry Lange Travel Fellowship Award. These funds provide professional and educational opportunities to new P&O practitioners. Ms. Ziegler will use the award to travel to Haiti, where she will conduct humanitarian prosthetic and orthotic care.
August 1, 2011 -- Sean Wood defended his master's thesis at NUPOC in the Childress Commons on Monday, August 1, 2011. Mr. Wood is a BS/MS student in mechanical engineering who is working on part of the Department of Defense-funded study at NUPOC, "Development of Subischial Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations." His research was funded by the Department of Defense project, Development of Subischial Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations (Principal Investigator Stefania Fatone, PhD). NUPOC Executive Director Steven A. Gard, PhD, was a member of Mr. Wood's defense committee.
Mr. Wood's thesis is "Vacuum Pump Characterization and Development." His study identifies options for prosthetic vacuum pumps, characterizes the vacuum pumps that are available, and explores designs that may improve vacuum pump function for military amputees. To characterize the vacuum pumps, researchers evacuated air from chambers with known volumes. These volumes represent the air that must be removed from transfemoral sockets just after donning the prosthesis. After characterizing the pumps, researchers performed similar tests on human subjects to determine the total volume of the socket/liner interface. They compared the time required for evacuation to those obtained from the chambers of known volumes. With the knowledge gained from bench-top testing and human subject testing, researchers explored the issue of vacuum pump design and options to sustain pump activation. Two designs are proposed: 1) a hybrid mechanical/electrical vacuum pump; and 2) an energy harvesting pump.
July 28, 2011 -- Student participants in the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) visited NUPOC to consider opportunities in biomedical engineering, rehabilitation engineering, and prosthetics and orthotics (P&O). Stefania Fatone, BPO(Hons), PhD, provided an overview of research careers in P&O, and led a participation session that focused on “Clinical Outcome Measures”. Craig Heckathorne, MSc, presented “Upper Extremity Prostheses”. Biomedical engineering graduate students and doctoral candidates, BJ Johnson, MS, and Sara Koehler, MS, discussed their ongoing doctoral research projects. Erin Boutwell, MS, and Kiki Zissimopoulos, MS, joined Mr. Johnson and Ms. Koehler to present an interactive panel discussion, “Choosing Your Future”.
July 27, 2011 -- Linda Olson, PhD, OTR/L, and students from the Rush Occupational Therapy Program visited NUPOC. They learned about upper limb prostheses from Craig Heckathorne, MSc; lower limb prostheses and computer aided design (CAD) of prosthetic sockets from Kerice Tucker; and the analysis of human gait and motion from Rebecca Stine, MS, and Oluseeni Komolafe, PhD.
July 15, 2011 -- NUPOC appreciates the generosity of Judith Rubin for sponsoring a NUPOC faculty office in memory of her late father David Rubin, MD. Dr. Rubin (1947) was a graduate of the medical school at Northwestern University and a pioneer in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. This gift commemorates his work and also enables NUPOC to continue important work that improves the lives of persons who live with physical disabilities.
July 14, 2011 -- Student participants in the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) visited NUPOC to consider opportunities in biomedical engineering, rehabilitation engineering, and prosthetics and orthotics (P&O). Jared Howell, CPO discussed “Careers in Prosthetics and Orthotics”; Stefania Fatone, BPO(Hons), PhD, presented an overview of research careers in P&O; and Craig Heckathorne, MSc, presented “Upper Extremity Prostheses”. Biomedical engineering graduate students and doctoral candidates, Erin Boutwell, MS; BJ Johnson, MS; Sara Koehler, MS; and Kiki Zissimopoulos, MS, discussed their ongoing doctoral research projects.
July 1, 2011 -- Thomas Karolewski, CPO, MA, FAAOP, spoke to the membership of the UnLIMBited Potential, an amputee support group at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). He discussed the demographics and causes of amputations, emerging technologies in upper limb, transtibial and transfemoral prosthetics. Some members of UnLIMBited Potential participate at NUPOC as Educational Models and/or Research Subjects.
June 27, 2011 -- The 2011 Dale Yasukawa Scholarship has been awarded to Adam McFarlane, a student of NUPOC Blended Learning Program 2011. Competition for the scholarship is open to all full time certificate candidates who are enrolled in NUPOC. The award may be used to assist with P&O education expenses or to attend a local or national P&O meeting.
June 24, 2011 -- The VA-sponsored motion analysis laboratory on site at NUPOC has been re-named the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Motion Analysis Research Laboratory.
May 31, 2011 -- Felix Starker, Dipl-Ing, returned to NUPOC where he presented a talk about "Modifications to the Mauch Hydraulic Ankle". Mr. Starker is a research engineer in Orthopaedics and Motion Systems at Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation. He began his design modifications to the Mauch ankle while he was a visiting researcher at NUPOC. To learn more about this project, see: http://www.nupoc.northwestern.edu/news-publications/capabilities/cap_2010/cap_winter_10.pdf.
Andrew Hansen, PhD, and Urs Schneider, MD, PhD, (Fraunhofer Institute) also are participating in the modification of the Mauch hydraulic ankle. Several years ago during a meeting with Dr. Hansen and Dr. Schneider, NUPOC Director Emeritus Dudley S. Childress, PhD, suggested ideas to improve the Mauch ankle.
May 25, 2011 -- NUPOC played a seminal role in developing the open source Shape and Roll Prosthetic Foot (SRPF) for fabrication and use in developing countries. To read more about the SRPF, see http://www.nupoc.northwestern.edu/research/lowerlimb/sr_footkit.html. Edward Pennington-Ridge continues to introduce the SRPF to new settings. To learn more about Mr. Pennington-Ridge's work, see http://www.nupoc.northwestern.edu/news-publications/capabilities/cap_2006/cap_summer_2006_rev.pdf.
Recently, Winfried Danke, Executive Director of the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation (Seattle, WA) announced that Ed will spend three weeks at the Makama Government Hospital Rehabilitation Center in northern Sierra Leone where he will introduce a version of the Shape & Roll Foot for local fabrication. Ms. Danke notes, "This will address an urgent need in Sierra Leone for functional, reliable and durable artificial feet that can be made in country. Currently, all prosthetic feet have to be imported at great expense… Ed will be able to provide vital prosthetic component manufacturing assistance to the Makama Government Hospital Rehabilitation Center. His visit will be an important step toward the long-term sustainability of prosthetics care in Sierra Leone." Most of all, it is good news for the people of Sierra Leone. The Shape and Roll Prosthetic Foot will benefit the people of Sierra Leone, providing them with affordable and effective mobility.
Many organizations and individuals have contributed to the development and introduction of the SRPF to developing countries. This vital outreach is made possible by privately donated funds from private contributors. Sponsored by the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, Ed's work in Sierra Leone is made possible, in part, by the donation of NUPOC Director Emeritus Dudley Childress, PhD, and Nancy Childress. NUPOC salutes all those who are involved in improving mobility and quality of life for those who live with amputation.
May 16, 2011 -- An article authored by Erin Boutwell, Rebecca Stine, Andrew Hansen, Kerice Tucker, and Steven Gard has been accepted to the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. The article is titled "Effect of Prosthetic Gel Liner Thickness on Gait and Pressure Distribution within the Transtibial Socket."
May 10, 2011 -- Colum D. MacKinnon, PhD, Assistant Professor & Associate Chair of Research, Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, spoke to the NUPOC Research Meeting on Tuesday, May 10 (2:00-3:00) in the Childress Commons.
Dr. MacKinnon discussed "Preparation of Anticipatory Postural Adjustments Preceding and Accompanying the Initiation of Gait". Dr. MacKinnon noted that the execution of purposeful movement typically requires that postural components are effectively coordinated with the intended action. Anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) stabilize posture and equilibrium before the initiation of a voluntary movement. APAs occur during the transition from stationary standing to stepping forward. APAs involve a sequence of muscle activations and changes in the ground reaction forces (GRFs) that move the net center of pressure (CoP) beneath the feet backward and toward the initial swing limb. This sequence of activity produces the forces and moments necessary to propel the body forward and toward the single-stance limb for the regulation of whole body balance and posture before and during initiation of the voluntary step.
June 17, 2011 -- Desmond Masterton, CO, CPed, MS, Director of Orthotics, NUPOC, received his Master of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. His master’s work focused on "Predictors of Student Success in a Blended Learning Program." Congratulations, Desmond!
June 17, 2011 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), has been invited to join the Editorial Board of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (APMR). This international journal publishes original, peer-reviewed research and clinical reports about comprehensive therapeutic modalities for individuals with chronic illness and disabilities. Papers in the Archives are cited more often than any other rehabilitation journal. The Archives began publication in 1920 and is the official journal of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Hansen Visits NUPOC
June 17, 2011 -- Andrew H. Hansen, PhD, visited NUPOC and presented an overview of "Rehabilitation Engineering Research at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System". Dr. Hansen collaborates with NIDRR-funded research projects at NUPOC. He is Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Dr. Hansen discussed new directions in his research that have emerged through collaboration with the Minneapolis VAMC Regional Amputation Center, Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Center, and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Fatone Collaborates on Pediatric CP Project
June 15, 2011 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), is collaborating on a research study with Joycie Eulah Abiera, PT (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of the Philippines, Philippine General Hospital) and Debra Gaebler-Spira, MD (The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) on “A Cross-sectional Study of the Variability in Solid Ankle Foot Orthosis Design and Fabrication among Children with Cerebral Palsy”. The study addresses: (1) variability in solid AFO characteristics prescribed for children with CP; (2) features that make solid AFOs alike or different; and (3) possible relationship between GMFCS level or associated patient condition that explains variability in AFO design.
Report on NUPOC Merit Award
June 15, 2011 -- The June 2011 issue of the Feinberg Research Office newsletter, the FSM Researcher, reports “NUPOC Renovation Receives Merit Award”. Read more on page 2 at http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/research/newsletter/June11.pdf
Former NUPOC Personnel Mary Novotny, RN, MS, Honored
June 2, 2011 -- Mary Novotny, RN, MS, was honored with the Amputee Coalition (AC) Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her leadership as AC founder and former president. At the Northwestern University Rehabilitation Engineering Program, now NUPOC, Ms Novotny played a key role in establishing the Information and Education Resource Unit and led the unit from 1988 through 1989. A Chicago native, Ms. Novotny survived bone cancer and amputation of her leg in the 1960s. She became a career nurse who specialized in rehabilitation and disability rights. While working on her master’s degree on rehabilitation nursing at the University of Illinois-Chicago, she developed a resource and support group, Families and Amputees in Motion (FAIM), which led to formation of what now is the Amputee Coalition. In 1992, Ms. Novotny was elected president of the AC. A tireless advocate for disability rights, Ms. Novotny also is a recipient of the Ernest M. Burgess Award for achievements in amputee rehabilitation, the Brian Blatchford Prize from the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics for international contributions, and a Gargoyle Award from the Council for Disability Rights.
NUPOC Featured on Northwestern News Network Video
June 3, 2011 -- Aired on Northwestern News Network is a video that features NUPOC: “Prosthetics Enabling Amputees to Live Better”. Tom Karolewski, CPO, MS, Director, Prosthetics Education, NUPOC, speaks about excellent career opportunities for Prosthetists and Orthotists and pays tribute to the importance of Educational Models for training P&O professionals. Ms. Lori Timms, avid gardener and Educational Model for Prosthetics, is interviewed in her well-tended garden. See this video by Liz Kobak at http://vimeo.com/24588847.
NUPOC Welcomes Research Externs
June 6, 2011 -- Megan Hodgson is a Research Extern at NUPOC, where she is working with postdoctoral fellow Mattie Major, PhD, on a project that examines use of the upper limbs in the gait of individuals with bilateral transtibial amputation. A rising junior at Johns Hopkins University in Biomedical Engineering, Ms. Hodgson’s research interests include medical devices, especially prosthetics, and cancer medicine.
Matt Amos began as a Research Extern in March 2011. He is interested in the field of prosthetics. A rising sophomore at Oakton Community College, Matt assists with fabrication of upper extremity prosthetics. Matt became interested in the field through his participation with Children's Oncology Services Inc., where he was acquainted with people who use limb prostheses. Matt is knowledgeable about tools and materials and knows how to work with his hands. He has skills in welding, machining, and blacksmithing. Matt works with Craig Heckathorne, Research Engineer and Project Director for the NIDRR-funded project “Assessing Performance Claims for Multi-Degree-of-Freedom Articulated Hands”.
NUPOC enables Research Externs like Megan and Matt opportunities to participate in rehabilitation engineering research projects with the hope that some may pursue careers in rehabilitation research for prosthetics and orthotics.
Kudos to NUPOC Stefania Fatone and Robert Lipschutz!
May 31, 2011 -- Feinberg School of Medicine faculty promotions in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation have been awarded to two NUPOC staff. Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), has been promoted to Research Associate Professor. Robert Lipschutz, CP, has been promoted to Assistant Professor. Kudos to NUPOC Stefania Fatone and Robert Lipschutz!
NUPOC Site Garners Architectural Award
May 19, 2011 -- Chicago is renowned for its great architecture. Custom-designed by VOA Architects, the NUPOC site has received a 2011 Merit Award for Interior Buildouts from the Chicago Building Congress. NUPOC is delighted to conduct its research and education in an award-winning space!
NUPOC Graduate Wins Media Impact Award
May 19, 2011 -- NUPOC prosthetics graduate, Richard Miltenberger, has won a Sonic Foundry Rich Media Impact Award (RMIA) in the Student Impact Award category. Sonic Foundry makes Mediasite, the software/hardware solution that NUPOC uses for lecture capture and live and on-demand streaming of presentations and lectures for its distance learners. Mr. Miltenberger submitted his original video about the advantages of using Mediasite in NUPOC’s blended learning program. He will receive a $2,500 scholarship, and NUPOC will receive a Mediasite recorder valued at $5,000. See Mr. Miltenberger’s video.
This is the second time a NUPOC student has won an RMIA! NUPOC graduate Jenna Lombardo was a 2009 finalist.
Kerice Tucker Marks Fifteen Years of Service at Northwestern University
May 10, 2011 -- Kerice Tucker, Research Engineer at NUPOC, marks 15 years working at NUPOC. Mr. Tucker is Project Director for “Further Development and Evaluation of the Junior Shape&Roll Prosthetic Foot”; Co-Investigator of “Development of a Method for Performing Simple Multi-Center Motion Analysis Outcomes Studies of Orthotics and Prosthetics Users: A Pilot Study”; Pilot Study: Application of Roll-over Shape Toward Evaluation and Design of Partial Foot Prostheses” and others. Congratulations!
Elizabeth Rowe Marks Ten Years of Service at Northwestern University
May 10, 2011 -- Elizabeth Rowe has workd at NUPOC for 10 years as administrative assistant to the laboratory. She stepped into the breach when her predecessor resigned due to illness. When the NUPOC education and research programs merged Ms. Rowe took on additional administrative duties. Ms. Rowe manages these major shifts efficiently. Reflecting on her 10 years, “My first day in the lab was as a temp on February 29, 2000. It was Leap Year, so I can say that I’ve been here for only 2 years! Actually, the time has passed very quickly. I can’t believe it has already been 10 years! I enjoy working with all the people in research and education.” Congratulations!
Kwak Recognized for Academic Work at NUPOC
May 7, 2011 -- Samuel Kwak, a senior at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) has conducted a 9-month Student Inquiry and Research (SIR) on a NIDRR-funded project at NUPOC, Development and Evaluation of a Prosthetic Ankle that Mechanically Adapts to Sloped Surfaces. Advised by Stefania Fatone, PhD, and Eric Nickel, MS, Mr. Kwak’s project received recognition as the Illinois Junior Academy of Sciences (IJAS) Project Exposition Finalist and will be presented on May 7 in Champaign, IL. Additionally, his project is designated the IJAS Region V U.S. Army Grand Prize Winner.
Northwestern Research Newsletter Features NUPOC Research
May 1, 2011 -- NUPOC research led by Principal Investigator, Stefania Fatone, PhD, BOP(Hons), is featured in the Northwestern Research Newsletter (May 2011). Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the project goals include developing a prosthetic socket for highly active, above-the-knee amputees, that may allow soldiers to redeploy to active combat. The socket will improve comfort without compromising function. Read “NUPOC Develops and Evaluates Prosthetics and Orthotics” on page 3.
Gottipati Presents at 7th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day
April 7, 2011 -- Pranitha Gottipati, PhD, represented NUPOC, the Department of Neurological Surgery, the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center (Chicago) at the 7th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day at Northwestern University. She presented her poster, Effect of Multi-Segmental Spine Fusion Surgeries on Spine and Gait Kinematics, co-authored with S. Fatone, R. Stine, and A. Ganju.
Fatone Presents at Ortopedteknik 2011 Conference
March 31-April 2, 2011 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was an invited presenter at the Ortopedteknik 2011 conference held in Gothenburg, Sweden. Dr. Fatone presented 2 papers: Functional Evaluation of Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO) for Persons with Post-Stroke Hemiplegia and Patient Assessment for Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO). Dr. Fatone also presented a workshop, Using Outcome Measures to Assess the Effect of Ankle-foot Orthoses on Gait of Persons with Stroke. During her stay in Sweden, Dr. Fatone visited the Prosthetics and Orthotics program at Jönköping University where she presented a lecture to the orthotics students.
Robinson and Caldwell Become AAOP Fellows of the Academy
March 18, 2011 -- Christopher Robinson, MBA, CPO, FAAOP, ATC, and Ryan Caldwell, CP/LP, FAAOP, were honored by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) and awarded the designation Fellow of the Academy. The Academy officially inducted them as Fellows of the Academy at the Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium.
NUPOC Faculty Featured in Northwestern Portrait Series
March 16, 2011 – Scot Wittman, MFA, President of the Independent School Art Instructors Association and Chair of the Art Department at Rutgers Preparatory School, was artist-in-residence at The Three Walls program (Chicago). Mr. Wittman is a professional photographer who visited NUPOC as part of his work creating the Northwestern Portrait Series. This project spotlights people at Northwestern University who are involved in the advancement of science. At NUPOC he focused his camera on prosthetists Thomas Karolewski, MA, CP, FAAOP, and Jared Howell, CPO. As a future exhibit, this creative fusion of art and science may expand public awareness about research and education at NUPOC. R. J. Garrick, PhD, Project Director, Resource Unit for Information and Educational Resources, facilitated this event.
Students from Newton Bateman School Visit NUPOC
March 15, 2011 – An 8th grade science class from the Newton Bateman School (CPS), accompanied by science teacher Vasiliki Valkanas and Principal Carl Dasko, visited NUPOC to learn about rehabilitation engineering and the design and function of upper limb prostheses. Doctoral candidates Kiki Zissimopoulos, MS, and Sara Koehler, MS, conducted an informative tour of NUPOC with an overview of NUPOC’s educational and research mission. Jared Howell, CPO, Assistant Director of Prosthetics Education, discussed P&O training, careers, and clinical applications. Craig Heckathorne, MSc, Research Engineer, provided hands-on information about upper limb prosthetic devices. This tour was facilitated by R. J. Garrick, PhD, Project Director, Resource Unit for Information and Educational Resources, and Michael Kennedy, PhD, Director, Science Outreach and Public Engagement, Science in Society. NUPOC hosted the tour as an RERC dissemination activity and in partial support of Get a Grip!, a middle school engineering challenge developed as part of the research program of the VaNTH Engineering Research Center for Bioengineering Educational Technologies.
Medtronic Sofamer-Danek, Inc Reviews NUPOC's Spine Research
March 7, 2011 -- Representatives of Medtronic Sofamer-Danek, Inc., Brian Murrell (Director, Applied Research), Tommy Carls (Vice President of Product Development), and Bob Ducharme (Senior Physician Relations Manager), met with research team members, Aruna Ganju, MD, Tyler Koski, MD, Richard Fessler, MD, Steven A. Gard, PhD, Stefania Fatone, PhD, Pranitha Gottipati, PhD, Narina Simonia, and Sara Thompson to review progress on two ongoing spine research studies (Role of Spine in Human Walking; and Sagittal Alignment Study). Currently funded by Medtronic Sofamer-Danek Inc., these projects build on the prior NIDRR grant cycle.
Dilip Thaker Reaches Twenty Years of Service at Northwestern University
March 1, 2011 -- Northwestern University and NUPOC congratulated Dilip Thaker, Instrument Maker at NUPOC, for the completion of twenty years of continuous service. Mr. Thaker will receive a certificate of recognition at the 34th Annual Staff Service Recognitions Luncheon on May 10.
February 26 -- Craig Heckathorne, MSc, and Erin Boutwell, MS, represented NUPOC at the 40th Annual Career Day for Girls (Impacting the World through Engineering), presented by the Society of Women Engineers Northwestern University Chapter and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science on the Evanston campus. At three consecutive panel sessions, Mr. Heckathorne showed examples of upper extremity prosthetic components and Ms. Boutwell showed examples of lower extremity prosthetic components. They discussed research that is being conducted at NUPOC.
NUPOC Participates in US Army Medical/Dental Advisory Board Meeting
February 9 -- Steven A. Gard, PhD (Executive Director, NUPOC), was an invited participant in the US Army Medical/Dental Advisory Board meeting at McCormick Place (Chicago) on February 9, 2011. John Michael, CPO, FAAOP (Associate Director, NUPOC), Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and R. J. Garrick, PhD, also participated in the meeting. Representatives from Chicago academic centers of influence attended and discussed ways to distribute information about Army medical/dental careers. The Advisory Board generates peer to peer contacts that disseminate information about Army medical careers through classrooms, faculty meetings, grand rounds, professional meetings, journal articles and other media.
Marita Dorsch Carozza Visits NUPOC
January 12, 2011 -- NUPOC benefactor, Marita Dorsch Carozza, CP, FAAOP, visited the new NUPOC site. Ms. Carozza has been a staunch supporter of NUPOC and has contributed to its success. The photo shows Ms. Carozza standing near the Student Lounge that bears her name.
Nickel Successfully Defends Master's Thesis
December 17, 2010 – Eric Nickel, MS, successfully defended his master’s thesis, Development and Fatigue Testing of a Durable Prosthetic Ankle-Foot Prototype Capable of Adaptation to Sagittal Plane Surface Inclination. Upon completion of his defense, Mr. Nickel moved to Minneapolis where he began work in the Andrew Hansen Lab at the Minneapolis VAMC. Mr. Nickel and Dr. Hansen are further developing a prosthetic ankle that adapts mechanically to changes in surface.
NUPOC Graduates Provide P&O Assistance in Guatemala
December 4-13, 2010 -- Jared Howell, CPO, led recent graduates of NUPOC to Zacapa, Guatemala where they worked with the Range of Motion Project-Chicago (ROMP) and Volunteer Field Director, Greg Krupa, CP. This annual outreach trip included participants: Katie Antle, Christy Vant, Jacqueline Ziegler, Jenna Lombardo, Jennifer Pecora, and Zach Lacy. The NUPOC group provided custom-designed thermoplastic orthotics and prosthetic componentry donated by U.S. practitioners. Some of the Guatemalan clients traveled more than 8 hours to reach the ROMP clinic. Persons with amputation secondary to trauma received prosthetic solutions. Children who had not obtained prior medical care received orthotic solutions.
Karolewski Completes Master's Degree
December 12, 2010 -- Thomas Karolewski, MA, CP, FAAOP, completed a master’s degree at Concordia University.
High School Science Students Tour NUPOC
November 30, 2010 -- Science students from Crystal Lake South High School toured NUPOC with Principal Marsha Pothoff and science instructors Rich Marrano and Rene Kaschiske.
President Morton Schapiro Cuts Ribbon to Dedicate New NUPOC Site and Open House
November 22, 2010 -- Northwestern University President and Professor Morton O. Schapiro presided at the opening and rededication of the new NUPOC.
NU President Schapiro to Preside at NUPOC Ribbon Cutting
October 22, 2010 -- Northwestern University President and Professor Morton O. Schapiro will preside over a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House at NUPOC. President Schapiro will offer opening remarks and officially cut the ribbon to open the new NUPOC. Elliot Roth, MD (Chairman and Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine), and Steven A. Gard, PhD (Executive Director, NUPOC), will offer welcoming remarks. Guests at the event are invited to tour the new facilities. The event is hosted by the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and NUPOC to rededicate the new space and honor the vision and generosity of donors. NUPOC appreciates all who have contributed to this momentous move toward a new future for Prosthetics and Orthotics at Northwestern University.
Maggie Parker Applies Her Knowledge to NIDRR-funded Projects
October 2010 -- Maggie Parker, Master of Science degree candidate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (expected June 2011), is applying her knowledge to the NIDRR-funded research project, Assessing and Responding to the Prosthetic Needs of Farmers and Ranchers. She is working with Kathy Waldera, MS (Research Engineer, NUPOC), to code and categorize interview transcripts. With these data, researchers will develop a comprehensive survey for distribution by prosthetists and clinics to meet the prosthetic needs of farmers and ranchers.
Christopher Robinson Awarded 2010 OPERF Education Grant
October 13, 2010 -- Christopher Robinson, MBA, CPO, ATC, has been awarded a 2010 Education grant by the Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF). This award is given in recognition of Mr. Robinson’s substantial contributions to Prosthetics and Orthotics and to be used for his continued education in the discipline of P&O.
Thomas Karolewski Selected for Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators
October 6, 2010 -- Thomas Karolewski, CP, FAAOP, Director of Prosthetics Education at NUPOC, has been selected to serve a four year term on the Northwestern University Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators (FAME). Members of FAME are recognized leaders in the area of medical education. They liaise with their departmental faculty and enhance medical education through collaborations with other educators at the Feinberg School of Medicine.
September 20, 2010 -- Erin Boutwell, MS, has successfully defended her qualifying proposal for her doctoral dissertation. Her proposal is entitled, The Effect of Vertical Compliance on Shock Absorption and Proprioception in Transtibial Amputees. Steven A. Gard, PhD, will supervise her doctoral work.
Fatone Awarded a Three-Year DoD Grant
September 15, 2010 -- Principal Investigator Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), has been awarded a 3-year Department of Defense (DoD) Peer Reviewed Orthopedic Research Program (PRORP) Technology Development Award in excess of two million dollars. The project is Development of Sub-Ischial Prosthetic Sockets with Assisted-Vacuum Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations. Project goals are to develop a highly flexible, sub-ischial prosthetic socket with assisted-vacuum suspension for highly active persons with transfemoral amputation. A team of Northwestern University experts are working with Dr. Fatone on the DoD Project, including Co-Investigators Steven A. Gard, PhD (Executive Director, NUPOC; Research Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine); Wei Chen, PhD (Wilson-Cook Professor in Engineering Design, Department of Mechanical Engineering Industrial Engineering and Management Science, Faculty Fellow, Segal Design Institute); and Cheng Sun, PhD (Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for Scalable and Integrated Nanomanufacturing). Other members of the team include Ryan J. Caldwell, CP/LP (Research Prosthetist, NUPOC), Andrew Hansen, PhD (Hansen Engineering Consulting), Kerice Tucker (Research Engineer, NUPOC), and Sean Wood, BS/MS student. A postdoctoral fellow will assist with socket and liner development.
Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), Honored with Impresa Award
September 11, 2010 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), is the recipient of an Impresa Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian-Americans. The award recognizes her achievements and contributions as a role model as a research, author, clinician, teacher, and mentor in the field of Prosthetics and Orthotics.
NUPOC Moves to New Location
September 1, 2010 -- The Northwestern University Prosthetics/Orthotics Center (NUPOC) moved to a new, custom-designed facility in 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60611. This unification of education with research programs enables NUPOC to mesh superlative P&O training with new P&O research and best clinical practice. The integration of NUPOC’s research and education programs also prepares the ground to offer a 2-year master’s degree program in Prosthetics and Orthotics.
Matthew Major, PhD, Has Joined NUPOC as a Postdoctoral Fellow
September 1, 2010 -- Matthew Major, PhD, has joined NUPOC as an “Engineering into Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow” sponsored by a Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS). His mentors will be Steven A. Gard, PhD, in engineering and Elliot Roth, MD, in clinical medicine. Dr. Major proposes to investigate the relationships between the mechanical properties of a below-the-knee prosthesis and the independent functional balance of below-knee prosthesis users with respect to stability during gait and standing.
August 25, 2010 -- Sam Kwak, a senior at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), has begun a 9-month Student Inquiry and Research (SIR) at NUPOC. This mentored study program focuses on gait analysis. Weekly, Sam meets his on-site Advisor, Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons); and he also works with Eric Nickel, Master’s degree candidate, on a NIDRR project that further develops a mechanical foot-ankle system that adapts passively to surface variations.
Historic Merger of NUPOC and NUPRL
August 27, 2010 -- The Northwestern University Prosthetics Research Laboratory (NUPRL) has merged with the Northwestern University Prosthetics Orthotics Center (NUPOC). For the past 50 years, these two entities have interacted cooperatively with overlapping interests. Henceforth, under a single name, NUPOC will represent both missions, combining education and research. Learn more...
Dr. Fatone Presents at CAPO Meeting
August 10, 2010 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), presented two talks, “The NIDRR Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Prosthetics and Orthotics at Northwestern University” and “Functional Evaluation of AFOs for Persons with Post-Stroke Hemiplegia”, at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Prosthetics & Orthotics (CAPO) in Quebec, Ontario.
Frank Wilson, MD, Visits NURERC
July 28, 2010 -- Frank Wilson, MD, a neurologist who specializes in the hand and serves as a director on the board of Big Picture Learning (BPL), visited NURERC. Craig Heckathorne, MSc, R J Garrick, PhD, Sara Koehler, MS, and Angelika (Kiki) Zissimopoulos, MS, discussed programs for young students that disseminate information and develop knowledge about prosthetics. Ms. Koehler and Ms. Zissimopoulos reported their experiences https://cms.feinberg.northwestern.edu/index.cfmas volunteer instructors in Get-A-Grip! (Northwestern University’s public education module that introduces 8th graders to the design and fabrication of rudimentary upper limb prostheses). Dr. Wilson wishes to incorporate modules about prosthetic design into specialized educational curricula in BPL-affiliated schools.
CROR Group Presents Research Update
July 28, 2010 -- Allen Heinemann, PhD, Linda Ehrlich-Jones, PhD, RN, and Dustin Williams, MS, of the Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research (CROR) presented a progress report at NURERC, where they updated the NURERC-CROR collaborative project that is conducted with the support of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the Department of Education under grant number H133E030030. This joint project is “Enhancing the Quality of Prosthetic and Orthotic Services with Process and Outcomes Information”. P&O clinicians who participate in the study prepare for mandated outcomes data collection, quality measure implementation, and also receive quality improvement consultation.
Dr. Fatone Invited Reviewer at TATRC
July 27, 2010 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was an invited reviewer at the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) Rehabilitation Medicine/Military Amputee Research Program (MARP) Lower Extremity Gait Systems Portfolio in Frederick, MD.
NURERC Presents Research at ISPO Meeting
May 20, 2010 -- Steven A. Gard, PhD (see photo), Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), Craig Heckathorne, MSc, Angelika (Kiki) Zissimopoulos, MS, Lexyne McNealy Jackson, MS, and Allen Heinemann, PhD, attended the 13th International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) World Congress in Leipzig, Germany, where they presented research that is conducted at NURERC with the support of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the Department of Education under grant number H133E030030. NURERC sponsored a booth that informed a broad audience about NURERC research projects.
Joshua Rolock, PhD, Departs from NURERC
May 10, 2010 -- Joshua Rolock, PhD, a respected researcher and engineer, has departed from the Northwestern University Prosthetics Research Laboratory (NUPRL) to pursue other directions in biomedical engineering and science. An engineer trained at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois, Dr. Rolock translated his ideas into applications and contributed to the development and completion of many prosthetics and orthotics research projects at NUPRL. Using surface curvature analysis, he developed a rapid, plastic deposition fabricator for computer-aided manufacture (CAM) of prosthetic sockets. This became the Squirt Shape System, which has proven useful for many research projects at NURERC. Dr. Rolock’s personal qualities and intellectual contributions will be missed.
Angelika Zissimopoulos Receives 2010 OPERF Fellowship Award
April 10, 2010 -- Angelika (Kiki) Zissimopoulos, MS, received a 2010 Fellowship Award from the Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation, Inc. (OPERF) for her proposal “Mediolateral Stability in Post-Stroke Hemiplegic Gait: Dynamic Influences of Ankle-Foot-Orthoses and Torso Weighting.” Ms. Zissimopoulos is researching this topic and will report these findings in her doctoral dissertation.
German Orthopedic Fellows Visit NURERC
March 1, 2010 -- Orthopedic surgeons Maximilien Jung, MD (Switzerland), Jürgen Götz, MD (Germany), Nadja Walochnik, MD (Austria), and Mr. Ingo Pfefferkorn, CPO and engineer (Germany), visited NURERC where they learned about current research and development projects. As part of the information exchange, the Fellows presented talks about their work in Technical Orthopedics, a comprehensive musculoskeletal discipline that includes orthopedic surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapy, as well as prosthetics and orthotics. Dr. Jung presented Mirror Therapy in Post-amputation Pain; Dr. Götz presented Importance of Gait Analysis for Quality Assurance in Orthopedics; Dr. Walochnik presented Rehabilitation of a Bilateral Amputee with 2 C-legs; and Mr. Pfefferkorn, CPO, presented Overview of Ischial Containment Socket Design and the Very Short Femoral Stump.
This is the seventh group sponsored by Initiative ‘93 that has visited NURERC using the travel portion of their 2-year fellowship to spend about 6 weeks in Canada and the USA where they visit hospitals and research facilities exchanging information about Technical Orthopedics. Initiative ’93 was founded by Dr. Georg Neff (Berlin), Dr. René Baumgartner (Münster), and others during the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) World Congress 1992 that was held in Chicago.
NURERC Hosts McCormick Boys and Girls Science Club
March 1, 2010 -- The Robert R. McCormick Boys and Girls Science Club toured NURERC where they learned about Upper Limb Prosthetics presented by Craig Heckathorne, MSc; Motion Analysis presented by Rebecca Stine, MS, and BJ Johnson, MS; and the Shape&Roll Prosthetic Foot presented by Kerice Tucker, Research Engineer. NURERC graduate student Eric Nickel has offered his knowledge as a Science Mentor to 7th and 8th grade students who participate in the Science Club throughout this academic year.
Led by Northwestern University’s Michael Kennedy, PhD (Director, Office for Science Outreach and Public Engagement, Office for Research) and Carolyn Jahn, PhD (Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology), this extracurricular program meets after school and seeks to engage youth in learning about biomedical science. Each of the three 10-week curricula concludes with student presentations to their family and friends. Northwestern University science students serve as role models and mentors who share their passion for science and enhance science education in the local schools and community.
The spring 2010 session features Get-a-Grip, where Science Club members consider upper limb prostheses from the perspectives of design for function, cosmesis, and fabrication. The Get-a-Grip! curriculum was developed by Suzanne Olds, PhD (Assistant Chairperson, Biomedical Engineering), and is available to middle-school students through their science classes. The Science Club visited NURERC in preparation for designing and building functional upper limb prostheses. This is the first opportunity to present Get-a-Grip! outside a classroom setting.
(Note: Photograph used with permission of MBGSC.)
Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), Receives 2010 AAOP Research Award
February 26, 2010 -- Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), received the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Research Award. The Academy presented this award to Dr. Fatone in recognition of her outstanding research that has been published and reported in the field of orthotics and prosthetics.
Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
February 26, 2010 -- Dudley S. Childress, PhD, (see photo below, right) was honored with a Lifetime Service Award from the Veterans Affairs Department of Rehabilitation Research and Development. The award was presented by Robert Jaeger, PhD, Manager, VA Rehabilitation Engineering and Prosthetics/Orthotics Program, in conjunction with the 36th Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. Dr. Childress was in absentia and, on his behalf, Steven A. Gard, PhD (Director, NURERC), accepted the award and subsequently presented it to Dr. Childress.
NURERC Welcomes Visitor from the University of Jordan
February 9 and 10, 2010 -- Ms. Yasmin Othman (see photo, right), Orthotist and Senior Lecturer (Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty, the University of Jordan) visited NURERC. Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons) (see photo, left), facilitated her visit and provided information about current and past NURERC research projects. Ms. Othman toured the Northwestern University Orthotics Center, where she observed several orthotics classes and discussed orthotics education with Christopher Robinson, CO, MBA. Also, she observed Clinical Services in the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).
Ms. Othman trained and received her certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics through an intensive rehabilitation program at the University of Jordan. Subsequently, she completed intensive advanced courses in lower limb orthotics and mobility aids at the National Centre for Training and Education in Prosthetics and Orthotics, University of Strathclyde (Scotland). Ms. Othman’s research foci include orthotics, biomechanics, gait analysis, and pediatrics. She specializes in lower limb orthotics, especially for pediatric populations. In conjunction with the bioengineering unit at the University of Strathclyde, Ms. Othman is completing a research project that focuses on a post-polio population (PPS). Dr. Fatone and Ms. Othman discussed orthotics research, particularly with respect potential collaboration on projects that would develop and provide orthoses for the PPS population.