Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center

NUPOC News

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

  • Ryan Caldwell, CP, Awarded the 2020 Carlton Fillauer Prize
    03/10/2020

    Ryan Caldwell accepts the 2020 Carlton Fillauer Prize Ryan Caldwell accepts the 2020 Carlton Fillauer Prize Ryan Caldwell accepts the 2020 Carlton Fillauer Prize

    Ryan Caldwell accepts the 2020 Carlton Fillauer PrizeRyan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, was awarded the 2020 Carlton Fillauer Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Prosthetics Science and Practice. Sponsored by the Fillauer Companies Inc. and awarded every two years by the Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF), the prize recognizes an individual prosthetist who has substantially contributed to the practice and understanding of prosthetics through clinical care, research, and publication. The award confers a $5,000 cash prize. Mr. Caldwell received the Carlton Fillauer Prize at the 46th Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium that convened in Chicago on March 4 through 7.

    Mr. Caldwell is a Research Prosthetist at NUPOC and prosthetist at Scheck & Siress. He is well-known as developer of the NU-FlexSIV Prosthetic Socket and is a patent holder of Vacuum Pump Systems for Prosthetic Limbs and Methods of Using the Same (US 20130096694 A1).

    Working with NUPOC colleague Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and others, Mr. Caldwell has contributed actively to major research projects and served as Co-Investigator on Development of Subischial Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations; and Functional Performance Evaluation of the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation. He conducts NU-FlexSIV Socket workshops worldwide, teaches Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics students at NUPOC, publishes research outcomes in peer-reviewed journals, and presents his work at professional meetings.

  • NUPOC Presents at 49th SWE Career Day for Girls
    03/04/2020

    Virtual tour of BME lab NUPOC, SWE 2020 SWE virtual tour of BME lab, NUPOC SWE virtual tour of BME lab, NUPOC

    Julia Quinlan, PhDR. J. Garrick, PhD, and Julia Quinlan, PhD, represented NUPOC as a Biomedical Engineering lab at the 48th Annual Career Day for Girls hosted by the Northwestern University student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. This popular day-long career and educational workshop engages and informs hundreds of girls about engineering careers. The program offers virtual lab tours, hands-on design activities, a keynote talk, and a panel discussion. Do the Impossible is the 2020 Career Day theme. 

    Dr. Garrick and Dr. Quinlan presented three consecutive virtual lab tours about NUPOC. Dr. Garrick introduced STEM career opportunities in biomedical engineering and the allied health discipline, Prosthetics and Orthotics. She provided an overview of P&O research conducted at NUPOC and discussed some function of orthoses and upper and lower limb prostheses. 

     SWE virtual tour of BME lab, NUPOC SWE virtual tour of BME lab, NUPOC 

    SWE virtual tour of BME lab NUPOCJunior high school and high school students and Northwestern University engineering student members of SWE responded eagerly, closely examining a variety of orthoses and prostheses. They manipulated many prosthetic upper and lower limbs, including a demonstration limb that uses electromyographic (EMG) signals for prosthetic control.

    Dr. Quinlan summarized her research for the biomedical engineering research project, No Longer Smooth: Introducing Striations into Prosthetic Socket Construction to Improve Suspension, Rotation, Fit and Comfort (Principal Investigator Stefania Fatone, PhD). Participants compared textured socket samples and learned about the longitudinal, rotational, coefficient of friction and tensile strength testing that has preceded research on human subjects.

    R. J. Garrick, PhD, developed this interactive virtual lab tour.

  • Kristin Carnahan Invited Speaker at Virginia Polytechnic Institute
    02/24/2020
    Kristin Carnahan MSPO, CPO, with Abby Whittington, PhD, at Virginia Tech 
    (Right) Kristin Carnahan MSPO, CPO, with Abby Whittington, PhD, in the Virginia Tech polymer lab.

    Kristin Carnahan, MSPO, CPO, was invited to present a lecture to the Materials Science Engineering department at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Ms. Carnahan presented Materials in Prosthetic Applications Following Upper and Lower Limb Amputation to graduate students who are enrolled in the Materials Science Engineering seminar series. In addition to her credentials in Prosthetics and Orthotics, Ms. Carnahan also holds a degree in Chemical Engineering. Virginia Tech Assistant Professor Abby Whittington, PhD, jointly appointed in the MSE and Chemical Engineering departments, extended the speaker invitation to Ms. Carnahan. 

    The Virginia Tech MSE program emphasizes properties and structure of materials and the appropriate selection of materials for various applications, including fiber optics, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas production, metal casting, semiconductors, cosmetics and many other applications.

    While at Virginia Tech, Ms. Carnahan toured the engineering facilities and met with departmental faculty from the departments of Materials Science Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Industrial Systems Engineering, and Science, Technology, and Society.

  • Andrea Sherwood, CPO, MPO, Speaks at NUPOC
    02/11/2020

    Andrea Sherwood, CPO, MPO  Andrea Sherwood, CPO, MPO, and John Brinkmann, MA, CPO

    Andrea Sherwood, CPO, MPOGuest Lecturer Andrea Sherwood, CPO, MPO, presented Review of Benefits to Practitioners of Using Good Patient-Practitioner Communication to the MPO Class of 2021. Ms. Sherwood successfully completed a Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics (2015) at NUPOC and currently serves as Area Manager-Upper Midwest, Prosthetics, Össur Americas.

    Sherwood said, “Good doctor-patient communication is relevant to good CPO-patient communication and poor communication adversely affects patient outcomes.” She identified five benefits of good CPO-patient communications to P&O clinical practice: 1) lessens the risk of litigation, 2) uses appointment time efficiently and effectively, 3) improves patient outcomes, 4) improves patient satisfaction and increases referrals, and 5) improves practitioner job satisfaction.   

    Sherwood said, “Communication is the foundation of my clinical practice. Good communication helps me work with patients of diverse backgrounds and enables me to deliver the benefits of my knowledge and skills. Clinical communication is much different than the communication we use with family or friends. As practitioners, we need to alter our communication to fit each patient. We can’t expect patients to conform to our style of communication.”

    Sherwood also spoke about the importance of the MPO Capstone Project, a multi-faceted process that matches faculty strengths with students who work to develop a clinically relevant literature review. The Capstone process cultivates students’ research skills, evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking. Sherwood reflected that the Capstone process helped her develop intellectual rigor, critical thinking, problem-solving, goal-setting, and timeliness, skills that are essential in daily clinical practice as a CPO.

    Sherwood emphasized the value of faculty mentorship during the Capstone process. Sherwood worked with mentors John Brinkmann, MA, CPO, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons). Their individualized feedback helped her to refine and improve the Capstone, resulting in a peer-reviewed publication that she co-authored with her mentors, Review of Benefits to Practitioners of Using Good Patient-Practitioner Communication (Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 30(1):5-12, 2018). Ms. Sherwood’s work has received widespread, positive response from practitioners. Sherwood is often invited to present her research findings at professional meetings, hospitals, and webinars.

  • Carlos Galván-Duque Gastélum and Emilio Mendieta-Morales Conduct Collaborative Research at NUPOC
    02/06/2020
    Emilio Mendieta-Morales, Matthew Major, Carlos Galván-Duque Gastélum 
    (From left) Emilio Mendieta-Morales, Matthew Major, Carlos Galván-Duque Gastélum.

    At the invitation of Matthew Major, PhD, biomedical engineers Carlos Galván-Duque Gastélum and Emilio Mendieta-Morales, both of the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City), spent a week at NUPOC where they measured mechanical function of various prosthetic foot designs and discussed potential collaborative research. 

    Measuring mechanical function of various prosthetic foot designs   Measuring mechanical function of various prosthetic foot designs.

    Mr. Galván-Duque Gastélum is leading a 3-year, collaborative research project to design and develop an optimal, adjustable prosthetic foot that can accommodate growth and increased foot size of children with a lower limb amputation.

    Mr. Galván-Duque is a doctoral candidate in Engineering Systems and research associate Emilio Mendieta-Morales is completing his Bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering. Both researchers conduct part of their study at the National Institute of Rehabilitation with their colleague, biomedical engineer José Luis Zavaleta Ruiz, PhD, MPO, a NUPOC research collaborator and graduate of the NUPOC MPO Class of 2016. 

  • Registration Opens for Northwestern University Flexible Sub-ischial Socket Course
    02/05/2020

     NU FlexSIV Socket developer Ryan Caldwell and Stefania Fatone  Ryan Caldwell fitting NU FlexSIV Socket

    Developers of the NU FlexSIV Socket, Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, and Stefania Fatone, PhD, will present the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-ischial Socket Course hosted by Össur Academy (Orlando, FL) on April 17-18, 2020. Participants must bring a patient model to work with during the course.

    This two-day course provides an introduction to sub-ischial socket technology and the development of the NU-FlexSIV Socket technique. Prosthetists will learn about patient and liner selection and participate in hands-on casting, rectification, fabrication and fitting of a sub-ischial check socket. Course content covers both passive suction and vacuum versions of the socket. Developers also will provide information about socket materials, construction and tips for successful outcomes. 

    This course is approved by the American Board for Certification in Prosthetics, Orthotics for 15.5 continuing education credits. 

  • NUPOC to Present at 46th Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium
    01/28/2020

    2020 AAOP National Meeting in Chicago

    The 46th Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) will meet in Chicago from March 4 through 7, 2020.

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons) serves on the AAOP Annual Meeting Clinical Content Committee and contributed to the development of core scientific content. NUPOC faculty and students will participate actively in the meeting with nine original presentations. In alphabetical order by surname, NUPOC presenters and their topics are:  

    Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, Transfemoral Socket Design in the U.S. and Germany: What Is State of the Art
    Kristin Carnahan, CPO, FAAOP, and Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, Hands On: Transtibial Fitting and Alignment
    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), Stiffness of Solid Ankle Foot Orthoses; Mechanical Performance of Textured 3D-Printed Prosthetic Sockets; and Update: Partial Foot Amputation
    Jenny Kent, PhD, Locomotor Stability with Upper-Limb Absence: A Momentum Analysis; and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Physical Therapy to Address Balance Confidence Following Transtibial Amputation
    Matthew Major, PhD, Effects of Walking Speed and Transtibial Amputation on Leg Muscle Activation Effort in Older Persons; and Prosthetic Needs of the Female Patient
    Julia Quinlan, PhD, panelist, 3D Printing Point-Counterpoint.
    Christopher Robinson, MS, MBA, CPO, FAAOP(D), and John Brinkmann, MA, CPO, FAAOP(D), O&P Educator & Residency Director & Mentor Session sponsored by NCOPE.

  • NUPOC Students Receive OPERF/ABC Student Awards for Academic Achievement
    01/22/2020
    Nicolette Chamberlain-Simon (MPO 2020)   Ashley Ronvik (MPO 2020) 
    Nicki Chamberlain-Simon Ashley Ronvik

    Nicolette Chamberlain-Simon and Ashley Ronvik, both members of the MPO class of 2020, have won 2019 OPERF/ABC Student Awards for Academic Achievement. Each award confers a $1,000 cash award that can be used to promote the recipient’s academic goals. The recipients appreciate being selected for this award that will help them attend professional meetings and repay education loans.

    Students who are enrolled in an NCOPE-accredited P&O degree program may apply for this merit-based award by submitting their transcripts, a letter of recommendation from a full-time faculty member who reports the applicant’s progress and academic potential, Curriculum Vitae and applicant statement that describes how the OPERF/ABC Award will help achieve the student’s academic goals. Submissions are reviewed by a Review Panel chaired by the OPERF education committee chairperson. Funds for the ten annual awards are donated by individual and P&O businesses. 

  • Ryan Caldwell, CP, Honored with 2020 Carlton Fillauer Prize
    01/16/2020

    Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOPRyan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, has been selected to receive the 2020 Carlton Fillauer Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Prosthetics Science and Practice. Sponsored by the Fillauer Companies Inc. and awarded every two years by the Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF), the prize recognizes an individual prosthetist who has substantially contributed to the practice and understanding of prosthetics through clinical care, research, and publication. The award confers a $5,000 cash prize. 

    Mr. Caldwell will officially receive the Carlton Fillauer Prize at the 46th Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium that convenes in Chicago on March 4 through 7. 

    Mr. Caldwell is a Research Prosthetist at NUPOC and a prosthetist at Scheck and Siress (Chicago, IL). He is well-known as developer of the NU-FlexSIV Prosthetic Socket and is a patent holder of Vacuum Pump Systems for Prosthetic Limbs and Methods of Using the Same (US 20130096694 A1). Working with NUPOC colleague Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons),  and others, Mr. Caldwell has contributed actively to major research projects and served as Co-Investigator on Development of Subischial Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations; and Functional Performance Evaluation of the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation. He conducts NU-FlexSIV Socket workshops worldwide, teaches Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics students at NUPOC, publishes research outcomes in peer-reviewed journals, and presents his work at professional meetings.

    NUPOC congratulates Ryan Caldwell!

  • Fatone Launches New DOD-Funded Multi-Center Trial
    01/15/2020

    Research team for Comparative Effectiveness of Socket Casting Methods, launch meeting 1/15/2020) 
    (From left) Back row: Ryan Caldwell, Brian Arndt, Andrea Cutti, Kyle Barrons, John Looft, Kat Muschler; Front row: Andrew Hansen, Annamarie Liberatore, Jessica Yohay, Stefania Fatone, Nicole Walker, Gianluca Migliore, Giovanni Osti, Gianni Gregori.

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), is the lead Principal Investigator on a new multi-center clinical trial funded by the U. S. Department of Defense, Comparative Effectiveness of Socket Casting Methods: Improving Form and Fit. The 3-year study aims to compare the effectiveness of two casting methods to improve the fit of lower limb prosthetic sockets.

    Collaborating on the trial are investigators and clinicians from three sites: 1) Northwestern University, Chicago, 2) the Minneapolis VA Health Care Service, and 3) the National Institute for Insurance against Workplace (INAIL) [Instituto Nazionale per l’Assicurazione contro gli Infortuni sul Lavoro], Budrio, Italy. Andrew Hansen, PhD, is the Minneapolis site PI and Andrea Cutti, PhD, is the Italy site PI.

    From January 13 through 17, key research personnel met in Minneapolis, MN, where they reviewed procedural compliance and were trained according to the project protocol. The research team consists of prosthetists, engineers, and study coordinators and who will contribute to this study.

The Childress Fund

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

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

Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Research and Education Fund