A neuroprosthesis for control of seated balance
or activities of daily living, the ability for individuals with spinal cord injury to maintain trunk stability is paramount. Through functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS) muscles that the individual is unable to control, can be stimulated with external electrodes. However, currently available systems are only viable for static postures.
This study looks at the possibility of using a measure of trunk tilt as a feedback signal, which allows detection of trunk reaching forward flexed position. Once the feedback is received the appropriate trunk and hip extensors are stimulated in a modulated manner to automatically return the trunk to an erect position.
The detection of trunk deviation in the sagittal plane was successful up to perturbation amplitude of up to 45% of body weight. This result not only shows positive use for daily activity but also assists in limiting falls during wheelchair propulsion without specialised restraint.
> From: Audu et al., J Neuroeng Rehabil 12 (2015) 8. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.