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Transcutaneous Functional Electrical Stimulation Neuroprosthesis for Grasping in Early Rehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injured Subjects


T. Keller

European Medical & Biological Engineering Conference, Vienna, Austria, pp. 794-795

A portable electrical stimulator and methods that use surface functional electrical stimulation (FES) to improve the grasp function in spinal cord injured (SCI) subjects were developed, implemented and tested. Such systems are called neuroprostheses for grasping. They were developed for acute SCI subjects to be used in their first rehabilitation. For these neurologically not stable subjects highly flexi-ble systems are required, since the subjects might improve their upper extremity motor function in the first year by spontaneous recovery. Thus, acute SCI subjects have greater benefit from FES technology if the provided function especially the number of stimulated muscle groups and the electrode positions can be flexibly adapted to the changing motor capa-bilities. The authors believe in the importance of providing such neuroprostheses for grasping as soon as possible after injury that subjects can learn from beginning on to use the neuroprosthesis as an assis-tive tool while they relearn reaching and grasping tasks used in their activities of daily living.

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