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Transcutaneous Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and its Application in Motor Rehabilitation


T. Keller

Chicago, USA, Seminar at Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, Northwestern University.

The improvement of upper and lower extremity motor functions is one of the important goals in the rehabilitation of subjects with a central nervous system (CNS) lesion as it increases their independence in daily life activities. FES is a method used to contract paralyzed muscles in order to generate or improve motor functions as for example walking or hand grasp lost by the injury or disease. In this tutorial the theory of electrical stimulation, basics about the choice of stimulation parameters, and proper setup of an FES system will be presented. Clinical FES applications and systems developed by the Electrical Stimulation Group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) and the University Hospital Balgrist, Zurich will be demonstrated. Both neuroprostheses for walking and for hand grasp were developed and applied in a clinical environment on more than 30 subjects. The neuroprosthesis for walking uses a reliable gait phase detection system to automatically trigger the four gait phases: lift-off, swing, heal-strike and stance. The neuroprosthesis for hand grasp can be controlled either by a push button, EMG, voice or a sliding resistor. The systems can be used as a training tool or a permanent aid. The flexibility of the portable multi channel FES system allows one to perform coordinated multi joint actuation and control enabling synergistic movements. Practical demonstrations during the tutorial will allow the audience to experience FES on their own limbs.

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Type of Publication:

(05)Plenary/Invited/Honorary Lecture

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