[Abstract] Sensing motion and muscle activity for feedback control of functional electrical stimulation: Ten years of experience in Berlin

Abstract

After complete or partial paralysis due to stroke or spinal cord injury, electrical nerve stimulation can be used to artificially generate functional muscle contractions. This technique is known as Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). In combination with appropriate sensor technology and feedback control, FES can be empowered to elicit also complex functional movements of everyday relevance. Depending on the degree and phase of impairment, the goal may be temporary support in a rehabilitation phase, e.g. during re-learning of gait after a stroke, or permanent replacement/support of lost motor functions in form of assistive devices often referred to as neuro-prostheses.

In this contribution a number of real-time capable and portable approaches for sensing muscle contractions and motions are reviewed that enable the realization of feedback control schemes. These include inertial measurement units (IMUs), electromyography (EMG), and bioimpedance (BI). This contribution further outlines recent concepts for movement control, which include e.g. cascaded control schemes. A fast inner control loop based on the FES-evoked EMG directly controls the amount of recruited motor units. The design and validation of various novel FES systems are then described that support cycling, walking, reaching, and swallowing. All methods and systems have been developed at the Technische Universität Berlin by the Control Systems Group within the last 10 years in close cooperation with clinical and industrial partners.

Source: Sensing motion and muscle activity for feedback control of functional electrical stimulation: Ten years of experience in Berlin – ScienceDirect

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