People involved: Simona Ferrante, Alessandra Pedrocchi, Giancarlo Ferrigno, Emilia Ambrosini, Francesca Lunardini
Funding source: H2020-ICT-26-2016
Grant number: ICT-26-2016b System abilities,
development and pilot installations – 732158
Funding period: 2017 – 2019
People involved: Alessandra Pedrocchi, Simona Ferrante, Emilia Ambrosini
Funding source: H2020-ICT-23- 2014
Grant number: ICT-23-2014 – 644721
Funding period: 2015 – 2018
A continuous iterative process between the technology development and the testing feedback drives the whole project. RETRAINER implements a full technology transfer from the results of a previous FP7 project, MUNDUS, aimed at setting up a similar assistive device for severely disabled people in daily life activities.RETRAINER makes available two systems that could be either used in combination or as a stand-alone. RETRAINER S1 provides the end-user with a robot that does not completely take over the user’s tasks and substitute the functionality of the body, but specifically supports the user only whenever he/she really needs support. Residual functionality is trained and improved on rather than replaced by the robotic device. Arm movements are supported by the combined action of a passive exoskeleton for weight relief and Neuromuscular Electrical stimulation (NMES) delivered to several arm muscles in a controlled manner.RETRAINER S2 exploits a wearable NMES system with multiple arrays of electrodes for hand rehabilitation facilitating the grasping function.Both systems benefits from use of interactive objects, i.e. daily-life objects able to supply information about themselves to drive usage. Within RETRAINER the same principle and module is exploited to drive rehabilitation exercises and to monitor daily life.The systems will undergo a thorough randomized control clinical trial with end users to assess their efficacy in rehabilitation. Certification and qualification of the system will be pursued, given the adequate quality of experimental results.
Multi-center trial of Augmented Sensory Feedback in Children with Dyskinetic CP
People involved: Alessandra Pedrocchi, Claudia Casellato, Emilia Ambrosini, Francesca Lunardini
Funding source: NIH
Grant number: 1R01 HD081346-01
Funding period: 2015 – 2020
University of Southern California, Children Hospital Los Angeles, Politecnico di Milano, Carlo Besta Neurological Institute Foundation, Northeastern University, Columbia University
Successful learning requires awareness of errors both in performance and in muscle activity. Therefore if we can increase the awareness of muscle activity and direct attention to those muscles that are most responsible for movement errors, then we can improve learning in children with early sensory deﬁcits.
We use biofeedback to create awareness of the activity of individual muscles. The EMG-based biofeedback device tested in this study has been designed to provide the subject with a vibro-tactile information proportional to the activation of a specific muscle.
This study aims at testing the effect of long-term augmented sensory feedback on real-world skill learning in children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy (CP) or primary dystonia. Our hypothesis is that, in children with CP, this intervention will permit acquisition of skills in the child’s natural environment that were not previously achievable through unaided practice.
Fall prevention and locomotion recovery in post-stroke patients: a multimodal training towards a more autonomous daily life
People involved: Simona Ferrante, Emilia Ambrosini, Elisabetta Peri
Funding source: Ministero della Salute
Grant number: GR-2010-2312228
Institution: Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Lissone
Funding period: Dec 2012 – Dec 2016
The project aims at designing a novel multimodal intervention for stroke lower limb rehabilitation which involves two different types of exercise:
- a cycling leg exercise augmented by functional electrical stimulation and a visual biofeedback to maximize the subject’s involvement
- balance exercises using a sensorized balance board which provides a visual biofeedback to the subject
The rationale is that the delivery of such an intervention in the early phase after stroke might improve motor relearning and accelerate the recovery of walking ability. To test this hypothesis a randomized controlled study comparing the novel intervention to standard rehabilitation is ongoing.
A secondary aim of the project is to design a reliable and repeatable setup for the evaluation of the cortico-spinal excitability by means of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). The test-retest reliability of a rapid acquisition of stimulus-response curves is investigated both in age-matched healthy human participants as well as stroke patients. This technique will bring the use of TMS to study plasticity clinically and guide rehabilitation a step closer.
ARED Kinematics: Biomechanical Quantification of Bone and Muscle Loading to Improve the Quality of Microgravity Countermeasure Prescriptions for Resistive Exercise
People involved: Giancarlo Ferrigno, Alessandra Pedrocchi, Claudia Casellato
Funding source: Italian Space Agency
Grant number: BICE; 2013-065-R.0
Funding period: 2013 – 2018
European Space Agency (ESA), Countermeasures Lab, Johnson Space Center NASA, Houston
Countermeasure experiments with astronauts onboard the International Space Station. Kinematic data (ELITE-S2) and estimation of internal bone and muscle forces developed during exercise in microgravity will allow exercise programs to be optimized based upon evidence, and will increase the understanding of how resistance exercise in weightlessness affects the body.
USEFUL: User-centred assistive SystEm for arm Functions in neUromuscuLar subjects
People involved: Alessandra Pedrocchi, Marta Gandolla
Funding source: Fondazione Telethon
Funding period: 2016 – 2018
Politecnico di Milano (M&SS laboratory and Nearlab); CNR-ITIA; IRCCS E. MEDEA; Valduce Hospital “Villa Beretta”
Restore a lost function is a special experience for people affected by neuromuscular evolutive diseases, who face every day a functional deterioration. So far, technology for muscular dystrophic people has been mainly devoted to mobility for the evident impact on independence, and respiratory assistance for surveillance, while assistance of upper limb functions has been less explored. Few examples of commercial exoskeletons for gravity compensation exist but their clinical validation is missing. During the USEFUL project two commercial exoskeletons for gravity compensation (ARMON AYURA and JEACO WREX) will be tested for 2 weeks at home on 38 people affected by muscular dystrophy in a crossover design study. PUL (primary outcome), TAM, SUS scales will be used to assess whether the system is usable, acceptable and efficient. We expect that the results of the clinical study will provide important inputs to users and essential guidelines to health providers’ for the Health Technology Assessment.
BRIDGE: Beahavioural Reaching Interfaces during Daily antiGravity Activities through upper limb Exoskeleton
People involved: Alessandra Pedrocchi, Marta Gandolla, Simona Ferrante
Funding source: Fondazione Cariplo
Grant number: 2015-1860
Funding period: Feb 2016 – Feb 2018
Politecnico di Milano – Polo territoriale di Lecco (M&SS lab and NEARLAB); CNR-ITIA; UILDM; Consultants: UNIVERLECCO; IRCCS E. MEDEA; Valduce Hospital “Villa Beretta”
The BRIDGE project aims at expanding the functionalities of a pre-existing powered arm exoskeleton, providing it with additional features specifically aimed at supporting people suffering from neuromuscular evolutive diseases in performing (a subset of) Activities of Daily Living, enhancing their living standards by helping them accomplish everyday tasks and, possibly, autonomous activities. The user will be able to directly control the exoskeleton alternatively using manual, gaze or voice control. This multi-modal approach will allow each user to select the most suitable way depending on his/her residual capabilities. These new functionalities will be designed and developed in a continuous iterative process between users’ requirements and technological developments. The final improved prototype will be evaluated in real usability tests.
FoRST: Foundation for Thermal Scientific Research
People involved: Alessandra Pedrocchi, Marta Gandolla, Simona Ferrante
Funding source: Fondazione per la Ricerca Scientifica Termale
Funding period: Mar 2016 – May 2018
Politecnico di Milano – Polo territoriale di Lecco (M&SS lab and NEARLAB); Università di Padova (Medicina Fisica e Riabilitazione)
SPA therapy demonstrated to be beneficial in facilitating motor recovery and or enhancing well-being in middle age adults and elderly. The aim of the project is to couple adaptive biofeedback exercises with the beneficial effects of SPA therapy in order to enhance the effectiveness of the training. Reference application scenario and the needed rehabilitation exercises, including lower and upper limbs training, will be designed upon meeting with clinicians, trainee and operators of SPAs.