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Andreoni G.,Polytechnic of Milan | Mazzola M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Perego P.,Polytechnic of Milan | Standoli C.E.,Polytechnic of Milan | And 3 more authors.
Sensors (Switzerland) | Year: 2014

The correct choice and customization of an orthosis are crucial to obtain the best comfort and efficiency. This study explored the feasibility of a multivariate quantitative assessment of the functional efficiency of lower limb orthosis through a novel wearable system. Gait basographic parameters and energetic indexes were analysed during a Six-Minute Walking Test (6-MWT) through a cost-effective, non-invasive polygraph device, with a multichannel wireless transmission, that carried out electro-cardiograph (ECG); impedance-cardiograph (ICG); and lower-limb accelerations detection. Four subjects affected by Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS) were recruited. The wearable device and the semi-automatic post-processing software provided a novel set of objective data to assess the overall efficiency of the patient-orthosis system. Despite the small number of examined subjects, the results obtained with this new approach encourage the application of the method thus enlarging the dataset to validate this promising protocol and measuring system in supporting clinical decisions and out of a laboratory environment. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Carda S.,Azienda Universitaria | Carda S.,Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine Unit | Molteni F.,Azienda Universitaria | Molteni F.,Villa Beretta Rehabilitation Center | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series B | Year: 2010

This study assessed if transfer of the extensor hallucis longus is a valid alternative treatment to split transfer of the tibialis anterior tendon in adult hemiplegic patients without overactivity of the tibialis anterior. One group of 15 patients had overactivity of tibialis anterior in the swing phase, and underwent the split transfer. A further group of 14 patients had no overactivity of tibialis anterior, and underwent transfer of extensor hallucis longus. All patients had lengthening of the tendo Achillis and tenotomies of the toe flexors. All were evaluated clinically and by three-dimensional gait analysis pre- and at one year after surgery. At this time both groups showed significant reduction of disability in walking. Gait speed, stride length and paretic propulsion had improved significantly in both groups. Dorsiflexion in the swing phase, the step length of the healthy limb and the step width improved in both groups, but only reached statistical significance in the patients with transfer of the extensor hallucis longus. There were no differences between the groups at one year after operation. When combined with lengthening of the tendo Achillis, transfer of the extensor hallucis longus can be a valid alternative to split transfer of the tibialis anterior tendon to correct equinovarus foot deformity in patients without overactivity of tibialis anterior. ©2010 British Editorial Societyof Bone and Joint Surgery.

Ambrosini E.,Polytechnic of Milan | Ferrante S.,Polytechnic of Milan | Schauer T.,TU Berlin | Ferrigno G.,Polytechnic of Milan | And 2 more authors.
Artificial Organs | Year: 2010

This study deals with the design of a controller for cycling induced by functional electrical stimulation. The controller will be exploitable in the rehabilitation of hemiparetic patients who need to recover motor symmetry. It uses the pulse width as the control variable in the stimulation of the two legs in order to nullify the unbalance between the torques produced at the two crank arms. It was validated by means of isokinetic trials performed both by healthy subjects and stroke patients. The results showed that the controller was able to reach, and then maintain, a symmetrical pedaling. In the future, the controller will be validated on a larger number of stroke patients. © 2010, International Center for Artificial Organs and Transplantation and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Gandolla M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Molteni F.,Villa Beretta Rehabilitation Center | Ward N.S.,University College London | Guanziroli E.,Villa Beretta Rehabilitation Center | And 2 more authors.
Annals of Biomedical Engineering | Year: 2015

The foreseen outcome of a rehabilitation treatment is a stable improvement on the functional outcomes, which can be longitudinally assessed through multiple measures to help clinicians in functional evaluation. In this study, we propose an automatic comprehensive method of combining multiple measures in order to assess a functional improvement. As test-bed, a functional electrical stimulation based treatment for foot drop correction performed with chronic post-stroke participants is presented. Patients were assessed on five relevant outcome measures before, after intervention, and at a follow-up time-point. A novel algorithm based on variables minimum detectable change is proposed and implemented in a custom-made software, combining the outcome measures to obtain a unique parameter: capacity score. The difference between capacity scores at different timing is thresholded to obtain improvement evaluation. Ten clinicians evaluated patients on the Improvement Clinical Global Impression scale. Eleven patients underwent the treatment, and five resulted to achieve a stable functional improvement, as assessed by the proposed algorithm. A statistically significant agreement between intra-clinicians and algorithm-clinicians evaluations was demonstrated. The proposed method evaluates functional improvement on a single-subject yes/no base by merging different measures (e.g., kinematic, muscular) and it is validated against clinical evaluation. © 2015 Biomedical Engineering Society

Pedrocchi A.,Polytechnic of Milan | Ferrante S.,Polytechnic of Milan | Ambrosini E.,Polytechnic of Milan | Gandolla M.,Polytechnic of Milan | And 25 more authors.
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Year: 2013

Background: MUNDUS is an assistive framework for recovering direct interaction capability of severely motor impaired people based on arm reaching and hand functions. It aims at achieving personalization, modularity and maximization of the user's direct involvement in assistive systems. To this, MUNDUS exploits any residual control of the end-user and can be adapted to the level of severity or to the progression of the disease allowing the user to voluntarily interact with the environment. MUNDUS target pathologies are high-level spinal cord injury (SCI) and neurodegenerative and genetic neuromuscular diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Friedreich ataxia, and multiple sclerosis (MS). The system can be alternatively driven by residual voluntary muscular activation, head/eye motion, and brain signals. MUNDUS modularly combines an antigravity lightweight and non-cumbersome exoskeleton, closed-loop controlled Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation for arm and hand motion, and potentially a motorized hand orthosis, for grasping interactive objects. Methods. The definition of the requirements and of the interaction tasks were designed by a focus group with experts and a questionnaire with 36 potential end-users.Five end-users (3 SCI and 2 MS) tested the system in the configuration suitable to their specific level of impairment. They performed two exemplary tasks: reaching different points in the working volume and drinking. Three experts evaluated over a 3-level score (from 0, unsuccessful, to 2, completely functional) the execution of each assisted sub-action. Results: The functionality of all modules has been successfully demonstrated. User's intention was detected with a 100% success. Averaging all subjects and tasks, the minimum evaluation score obtained was 1.13 ± 0.99 for the release of the handle during the drinking task, whilst all the other sub-actions achieved a mean value above 1.6. All users, but one, subjectively perceived the usefulness of the assistance and could easily control the system. Donning time ranged from 6 to 65 minutes, scaled on the configuration complexity. Conclusions: The MUNDUS platform provides functional assistance to daily life activities; the modules integration depends on the user's need, the functionality of the system have been demonstrated for all the possible configurations, and preliminary assessment of usability and acceptance is promising. © 2013 Pedrocchi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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