Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center


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.

  • Steven A. Gard Speaks at Marquette University

    Steven A. Gard, PhDSteven A. Gard, PhD, was invited to speak to researchers at the Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Engineering Center (OREC), Marquette University, where he presented, Do Persons with Transtibial Amputations Require Prosthetic Shock Absorbing Components during Gait? Dr. Gard discussed several research studies about shock absorption in amputee gait that are being conducted by investigators at NUPOC.

    Dr. Gard addressed issues of prosthetic compliance and compared biological to lower limb prosthetic shock absorption. “Shock forces are normally attenuated through the combined influence of the heel pad, stance-knee flexion, hip flexion, pelvic obliquity and ankle plantarflexion. However, transtibial prosthesis users have diminished ability to take advantage of these features during walking, which requires either compensatory actions or specialized prosthetic components. As a result, lower limb prosthesis users often notice the jarring impact that occurs with each step on their prosthesis, particularly when walking down stairs or stepping off of a curb.”

    Gerald Harris, PhD, PE, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Director of Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Engineering Center (OREC), and Co-Director for the Center for Motion Analysis (CMA) at Medical College of Wisconsin, invited Dr. Gard to speak.

  • NUPOC Research at 2018 AOPA National Assembly

    The 2018 American Orthotic Prosthetic Association (AOPA) National Assembly will be held September 26-29 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where posters based on NUPOC research will be presented.  

    >Assessment Criteria for PTB Impressions – An International Delphi Study, by John Brinkmann, examines assessment criteria for the patellar tendon bearing (PTB) socket impression using a Delphi consensus process; and reviews a format for consensus processes related to assessment of clinical tasks in P&O education.

    >Comparison of Direct Control vs Morph for Myoelectric Multi-Articulated Hands with Abstract Object Manipulation: A Pilot Study, by Megan Hodgson and Tiffany Ryan, reviews control strategies to switch between grip patterns in multi-articulated hands; and examines the morph device that can improve consistency of control and reduce the physical burden of controlling the prosthesis with EMG.

  • Stefania Fatone Invited Speaker at Nordiske Bandagist Kongres

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), was invited to present two lectures at the Nordiske Bandagist Kongres held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on September 6-8, 2018.

    ­­­­­­­­­Stefania Fatone, PhD, speaking at 2018 Nordiske Bandagist Kongres Dr. Fatone presented The NU-FlexSIV Socket: Development, Research and Dissemination. Dr. Fatone noted that research on the NU-FlexSIV technique began in 2009, was first taught to prosthetists in 2015, and many countries began to use it clinically. The NU-FlexSIV Socket is secured to the residual limb by vacuum pump suction and modifications to the technique allow for a passive suction version of the socket. She reported that persons with transfemoral amputation describe it as comfortable due to lower proximal trim lines that do not impinge on the pelvis and flexibility that allows muscles to contract during activity and splay when sitting. Ongoing research and development efforts include a clinical trial that compares comfort and functional performance in the NU-FlexSIV Socket and the Ischial Containment Socket.

    Dr. Fatone also presented Informing Decisions about Dysvascular Partial Foot Amputation Using a Shared Decision-Making Approach. Dr. Fatone and co-researchers conducted two systematic reviews that formed the basis for developing shared decision-making (SDM) resources for persons facing dysvascular partial foot amputation (PFA). She described the development of SDM resources and noted that interviews with persons facing PFA due to dysvacular disease demonstrate that they are poorly informed. SDM is a collaborative process designed to present different treatment options, likely outcomes and risks, thus informing and enabling patients to take an active role in their health care decisions. 

  • NUPOC Gallery Features Abstracts by Ju-Sung Kim

     Abstracts by Ju-Sung Kim are at the NUPOC Gallery

    Artist Ju-Sung Kim opens exhibit at NUPOCAt NUPOC, science, technology, and art intersect. In recognition of the artistry that is vital to prosthetics and orthotics, NUPOC is delighted to announce the installation and exhibition of acrylic abstracts by Ju-Sung Kim.

    Ju-Sung Kim’s work focuses on consciousness, which has neither a fixed form nor color. The abstractions depicted in his work express the inner world of self and consciousness. The painter reflects on himself, seeking the true nature of the self. In Buddhist conceptualization, Mr. Kim’s works represent the process of searching for the ‘true, authentic self’ (眞 我).

    Self-reflective, the paintings represent intertwined experiences and the interactions of the self with others. His work chronicles his life. His works express the challenges he experienced as an immigrant to the USA; joy, grief, and longing for homeland; search for identity, and the agony of chronic disease that threatened him with death.

    Ju-Sung Kim has a 40-year career as an artist and has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibits from coast-to-coast, including California, Illinois, New York, Virginia, Washington D.C.; and internationally in Toronto, Canada and throughout the Republic of Korea.

    Artists and Certified Prosthetist-Orthotists (CPO) cultivate similar skills. An axiom holds that a good prosthetist-orthotist needs the triad of “head, heart, and hands”. Superior cognitive ability, compassion, and hand skills enable CPOs to serve their patients well. As scientists and clinicians, CPOs are rigorously trained in human anatomy, biomechanics, behavioral sciences, professional issues, practice management, and independent research. They also employ creative artistry that bridges science and technology to fit and fabricate functional, comfortable, wearable prostheses and orthoses.

    NUPOC appreciates Ju-Sung Kim for making this exhibit possible.

  • NUPOC Contributes to Midwest Chapter AAOP Meeting

    The Midwest Chapter AAOP (MWCAAOP) annual conference will meet on September 13 through 15 at Lake Geneva, WI. President and Treasurer Michael Cavanaugh will welcome the participants and open the general sessions. Other MWCAAOP officers from NUPOC are Directors Ryan Caldwell and Chad Duncan; and Immediate Past President John Brinkmann.

    NUPOC presentations at the Midwest Chapter AAOP (MWCAAOP) by alphabetical by author’s surname are:

    >John Brinkmann, Teaching Professionalism and Ethics during Residency; and Adherence among Users of Orthoses 
    >Chad Duncan and Mike Hoggatt, Patient Satisfaction, So What? 
    >Matthew J. Major, PhD, Sensorimotor and Biomechanical Factors of Older Adults with and without Lower Limb Loss: Implications to Gait and Balance 
    >Julia Quinlan, PhD, Tensile and Coefficient of Friction Testing of Textured Prosthetic Socket Specimens 
    >Chris Robinson, NCOPE Update
  • David Foord, LLB, PhD, Visits NUPOC

    David Foord, LLB, PhD David Foord, LLB, PhD, assistant professor, Engineering Faculty, University of New Brunswick (Fredericton, Canada), focusses on the history of science and technology and innovation studies. He visited NUPOC to conduct research for a book about the history of myoelectric upper limbs. 

    He interviewed Steven A. Gard, PhD, John W. Michael, MEd, CPO, and R. J. Garrick, PhD, about the research and development of UE myoelectric control that was conducted at the Northwestern University Rehabilitation Engineering Center by Dudley S. Childress, PhD, and his research team. He also reviewed original materials in the Childress Collection held in the Northwestern University Archives (Evanston).

    During the 1970s, the Rehabilitation Service Administration of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Veterans Administration funded research in myoelectric control at twelve Rehabilitation Engineering Centers located throughout the USA. Professor Dudley Childress, PhD, and Clinton Compere, MD, chief of orthopedic surgery at Northwestern University, were leaders in the field.  

    Dr. Foord earned his doctorate in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (Interdisciplinary Studies) for which he wrote the dissertation, Making Hands: A History of Scientific Research and Technological Innovation in the Development of Myoelectric Upper Limb Prostheses, 1945-2010 (2013). He also is an attorney who has more than 20 years’ experience in contract drafting, technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation management for university and private sectors. 

  • NUPOC Welcomes Visiting Research Scholar Laurine Calistri

    Laurine Calistri, Visiting Research Scholar at NUPOCLaurine Calistri, MS (Biomechanics and Biomedical Sciences), is a visiting research scholar at NUPOC. Ms. Calistri is deployed from Proteor, headquartered in Dijon, Burgundy, France. Proteor collaborates with universities and hospitals to develop, manufacture and sell innovative prostheses, orthoses and technologies to assist people with and without physical disabilities. Recently, Proteor, a family-owned company, acquired Ability Dynamics LLC, the US developer of the glass composite RUSH Foot.

    Through December 2018, Ms. Calistri will work with Steven A. Gard, PhD, to evaluate if persons with transfemoral amputation who use the new Proteor prosthesis derive functional benefits in daily activities and walking on various surfaces. 

    At Proteor, Ms. Calistri is a research engineer, previously having served four years as an industrial engineer. Wholly satisfied with her position as project manager at a growing firm, Ms. Calistri is enthusiastic about her job and the scope of her work. “Becoming a research engineer was my goal and it is a perfect fit for me.” She enjoys the variety of working on multiple prototypes and interacting with CPOs, patients, manufacturing, and testing. 

    Ms. Calistri’s early interest in math, science and building led her to select engineering over medicine. She received her undergraduate and graduate training (2007) in engineering at l'Université de Technologie de Compiègne (France) and spent a year as an exchange student pursuing engineering studies at the University of Pennsylvania (2005). In her leisure time, she is an avid climber of both challenge walls and mountains. Currently, Ms. Calistri, her husband, also a research engineer, and their daughter are sojourning in Evanston, IL.

  • Sean Dineen Wins SPS Scholarship

    Sean Dineen, NUPOC MPO 2020SPS, the world's largest distributor of P&O products and services, awarded one of three 2018 SPS Student Scholarships to Sean Dineen (MPO 2020).

    Qualified scholarship candidates must be enrolled in an accredited P&O graduate program, have a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate leadership. Applicants must submit a recommendation from someone in P&O and an essay about their motivations for entering P&O and perspectives about the future of the profession. Each scholarship receives a $2,500 award.

    Mr. Dineen (Little Rock, AR) is enrolled in the MPO distance learning courses and will arrive at NUPOC for his onsite practicum in January 2020. He completed a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphases in biology, health and psychology at Arkansas State University (Jonesboro). NUPOC congratulates Mr. Dineen.

  • Matthew Major Presents Work at ASB 2018

    Matthew Major, PhDMatthew Major, PhD, presented a series of research reports at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB) held at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, on August 8-11. 

    From the podium, Dr. Major presented Ability to Predict Perturbation Timing Does Not Impact Center-of-Mass Displacement in Below-Knee Prosthesis Users and Controls authored by Major, Serba and Gordon; and Effects of Wearing and Upper Limb Prosthesis on Standing Balance by Major, Shirvaikar, Stine and Gard. 

    Dr. Major also presented two posters: 1) Effects of Upper Limb Loss and Prosthesis Use on Standing Balance authored by Major, Shirvaikar, Stine and Gard; and 2) Ability to Predict Perturbation Timing Does Not Impact Center-of-Mass Displacement in Below-Knee Prosthesis Users and Controls authored by Major, Serba and Gordon. 

  • MPO Student Joe Fairley Coauthors Article

    Joseph Fairley, IIJoseph Fairley, III (MPO 2019), is co-author, with Warder, Coutts, Glisson and Gall, of Examining the Viability of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Three-Dimensionally Printed Prosthetic Feet Created by Composite Filament Fabrication that is published as Epub ahead of print in Prosthetics and Orthotics International. Access the article at DOI: 10.1177/0309364618785726.

    Mr. Fairley graduated with a BS in Physics (Siena College, NY) and a MS in Exercise and Sport Science (Merrimack College, MA). Under the auspices of Enable Community Foundation, he spent 8 months in Haiti where he delivered six 3D printers and 13 upper extremity cosmetic and functional 3D printed prostheses. Currently, he is at NUPOC for his supervised, clinical practicum. Mentored by Matthew Major, PhD, his capstone literature review focuses on a mechanical performance and needs assessment of transfemoral and transtibial prosthetic technology in low-income economies. 

The Childress Fund

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

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