Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center


Read the latest news from the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about NUPOC and our recent achievements.

  • Lenin Delsol Exhibit Opens at NUPOC

    Paintings by Lenin Delsol are on exhibit at the NUPOC Gallery. At NUPOC, science, technology, and art intersect. In recognition of the artistry that is vital to prosthetics and orthotics, NUPOC is delighted to announce the installation and exhibition of oil and watercolor paintings by Lenin Delsol

    Mr. Delsol creatively interprets his figures in a narrative context. Recognized for his attention to draftsmanship and color, he captures his subjects’ features, while also conveying the individuality of their mood and character. In each painting, his use of color and light transforms the human figure into a nearly palpable, sentient person. 

    Born and raised in England, Mr. Delsol and his family moved to Chicago in 1978. As a student at the American Academy of Art (Chicago), Mr. Delsol systematically refined his drawing skills, working first as a comic book artist and illustrator, and later founding his own commercial art studio. Mr. Delsol developed new artistic directions studying under the tutelage of artists Steven Assael, David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Burton Silverman, Mary Whyte and Bo Zhang.

    Mr. Delsol is a member of the Oil Painters of America (OPA) and the Portrait Society of America. OPA has selected his work for exhibit at national and regional juried art exhibitions. The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society recognized Mr. Delsol with an Award of Excellence (2015) for his painting, Over the Shoulder, in the online, juried international exhibition. Mr. Delsol instructs and paints at the Palette and Chisel (Chicago), where he serves on the Board of Directors. Approachable and generous, Mr. Delsol supports the development of other artists and often complies with requests to critique works and monitor open studios. 

    Artists and Certified Prosthetist-Orthotists (CPO) cultivate similar skills. A maxim holds that a good prosthetist-orthotist needs the triad of “head, heart, and hands”. Superior cognitive ability, compassion, and hand skills enable CPOs to serve their patients well. As scientists and clinicians, CPOs are rigorously trained in human anatomy, biomechanics, behavioral sciences, professional issues, practice management, and independent research. They also employ creative artistry that bridges science and technology to fit and fabricate functional, comfortable, wearable prostheses and orthoses.

    NUPOC appreciates Lenin Delsol and the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts (Chicago) for making this exhibit possible.

  • Fatone Contributes to UC Student-Led Design Project

    Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), responded to a request from her former mentee, Angelika Zissimopoulos, PhD, who taught a design engineering class at the University of Chicago. A student team opted to design and improve a tourniquet model in association with Stop the Bleed, a national initiative to educate and empower citizens to reduce mortality from exsanguination among traumatically injured persons. To demonstrate correct tourniquet use, a design goal was to develop a realistic model limb with improved biomimetic compliance and resistance.

    Final model and cross section.
    1. Final model and cross section. 


    Comparison of model legs for Stop the Bleed.
    2. Comparison of 2 model legs.

    At NUPOC, Dr. Fatone cast a partial leg of a UC student. The UC student team carried a plaster negative mold to their campus where they fabricated an improved partial leg model using high density foam, Soma Foama® and Dragon Skin®, a high performance silicone rubber. After compression with a tourniquet, the material rebounds to its original form without rupture or distortion. Photo 1 shows the interior structure of the project model. Photo 2 compares the improved, biomimetic leg model to the original leg model that consists of a noncompliant, plastic cylinder. The students filmed a video about their improved model.

    Dr. Zissimopoulos directs initiatives that support STEM teaching and learning at the University of Chicago and teaches an undergraduate course. She completed her doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University, where she conducted research under the mentorship of Dr. Fatone and Steven A. Gard, PhD.

  • NUPOC Welcomes Paul Hammond, II

    Paul Hammond, II, MSPaul Hammond, II, MS, has joined NUPOC as a research assistant who will work with Principal Investigator Steven A. Gard, PhD, on Design of a Smart Prosthetic Liner Controlled by Muscle Activation Feedback and Optimization of Prosthetic Foot and Ankle Stiffness for Standing and Walking and PI Matthew Major, PhD, on Sensory-Motor Mechanisms Underlying Fall Risk in Transtibial Amputees.

    Mr. Hammond graduated from Northwestern University with a Master of Science degree in biomedical engineering (2017) and from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering (2007). He has nearly half a decade of experience working as an engineer in industrial settings at Hospira and Controls Southeast Inc., both firms in North Carolina.

    As a researcher, Mr. Hammond has worked on many projects. He designed, manufactured and tested a custom incubator for a microscope stage; evaluated rapid prototyping machines; developed a virtual testing environment to evaluate upper limb prostheses algorithms using EMG; and programed evaluation software that tests the risk that a research paper would include an error that could result in retraction or redaction.

    Prosthetics fascinated Mr. Hammond since his childhood when he saw the original Robocop series. He enjoyed hands-on activities, assembling and un-assembling things and running experiments. As an undergraduate, he developed a firm basis in mechanical engineering. As a graduate student in biomedical engineering, he attended Dr. Gard’s BME 365 course about Prosthetics and Orthotics and was particularly inspired by the section on new technologies. In the future, he plans to pursue a doctorate in engineering, so after completing his MS, he sought a research engineering positon that would further develop his hands-on research experience.

    Mr. Hammond brings a broad skill set to NUPOC that includes Good Documentation Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices, Corrective Action & Preventive Action Investigations, CAD (Pro/E, Wildfire, Solidworks, AutoCAD), Programming (C, MatLab, Python, Mathematica).

    His extracurricular interests include track, biking and choir. NUPOC is delighted to welcome Mr. Hammond!

  • Maureen Connelly Wins 2018 Yasukawa Scholarship

    Maureen Connelly (MPO 2029) wins 2018 Yasukawa Scholarship.Maureen Connelly, NUPOC MPO Class of 2019, has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Dale Yasukawa Scholarship. Ms. Connelly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering from the University of Notre Dame. 

    Ms. Connelly will use the $1,000 scholarship to supplement her P&O education. The scholarship will defray the cost of educational texts or attending a national, regional, or local chapter meeting of the American Association of Orthotists and Prosthetists. 

  • Fatone and Caldwell Teach NU-FlexSIV Socket Course at Össur Academy

    Ryan Caldwell, CP, at Ossur Academy,Össur Academy in Orlando, Florida, hosted the NU-FlexSIV Socket Course on June 22 and 23, 2018. Stefania Fatone, PhD, and Ryan Caldwell, CP, taught the 2-day, hands-on NU-FlexSIV Socket Course to 14 prosthetists who attended from across the United States.

    Participants who completed both days of the course days earned 15.5 continuing education credits from the American Board for Certification in Prosthetics, Orthotics and Pedorthics. Prosthetists demonstrated good results fitting 5 persons with transfemoral amputation. Össur Academy plans to host a second NU-FlexSIV Socket course in November 2018.

  • Matthew Major, PhD, Receives JSPS Seminar Program Award

    Matthew Major, PhD, received JSPS awardThe Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Washington, D.C. office, recognized Matthew Major, PhD, with the JSPS US Alumni Association Seminar Program award. Dr. Major directed the award to help underwrite The Neuromechanics of Rehabilitation for Lower Limb Loss Symposium 2018 that was presented on June 11, 2018.

    Mr. Koki Kawano, JSPS representative. JSPS representatives, Mr. Koki Kawano and Mr. Yusuke Nakashima, travelled from the Washington, D.C. office to attend the symposium, where Mr. Kawano presented Research Collaborations with Japan.

     Founded in 1932, the JSPS is a foundation that works to develop and implement diverse domestic and international scientific programs. Annual subsidies from the Japanese government enable the JSPS to foster young researchers, promote international scientific cooperation, award grands-in-aid for scientific research, support and distribute scientific information about cooperation between industry and academia. 

  • Posters Add Value at Neuromechanics Symposium

    Neuromechanics symposium poster.Scientific posters added important content to The Neuromechanics of Rehabilitation for Lower Limb Loss Symposium 2018. Symposium attendees could access the posters as physical posters that were displayed in the exhibit hall and also as digital versions that were loaded onto the conference USB drive. Poster presenters conducted productive discussions with attendees and extended their network with researchers from several universities.  

    The symposium featured the following scientific posters. Presenters’ names are underlined.

    Greene M, Adamczyk P. Joint Effects of a Quasi-Passive Two Degree of Freedom Prosthetic Ankle.

    Hisano G, Hashizume S, Murai A, Kobayashi Y, Nakashima M, Hobara H. Factors Affecting Knee Buckling Risk during Walking in Unilateral Transfemoral Amputees. 

    Kaluf B, Duncan A, Shoemaker E, Martin T, DiGioia C, et al. Comparative Effectiveness of Microprocessor Controlled and Carbon Fiber Energy Storing and Returning Prosthetic Feet in Persons with Unilateral Transtibial Amputation: Full Study.

    Krausz N, Hargrove L. Powered Prosthesis Control and Intent Recognition Based on Novel Computer Vision Algorithms.

    Li W, Pickle N, Fey N. Time Evolution of Frontal-Plane Dynamic Balance during Locomotor Transitions of Altered Anticipation and Complexity.

    Major M, Shirvaikar T, Stine R, Gard S. Effects of Wearing an Upper Limb Prosthesis on Standing Balance.

    Olesnavage K, Arelekatti M, Prost V, Petalina N, Johnson B, Winter A. Design of a Low Cost, Mass-Manufacturable Prosthetic Leg for Persons with Amputations in India. 

    Pickle N, Silverman A, Wilken J, Fey N. Segmental Contributions to Sagittal-Plane Whole-Body Angular Momentum When Using Powered Compared to Passive Ankle-Foot Prostheses on Ramps.

    Shepherd M, Rouse E. Energy Storage and Return in Prosthetic Feet Is Not Maximal at the Preferred Stiffness.

    Shorter A, Rouse E. Type of Gait Alters Ankle Joint Mechanical Impedance.

    Takahashi K, Hashizume S, Namiki Y, Hobara H. Mechanical Power and Work Profiles during Sprinting in Transfemoral Amputees.

  • Neuromechanical Rehabilitation for Lower Limb Loss Symposium 2018

    (From left) Drs Fey, Rosenblatt, Major, Hobara, Sawers and Rouse.  20180611_symposium_audience.jpg

    NUPOC hosted The Neuromechanical Rehabilitation for Lower Limb Loss Symposium 2018, a day-long scientific symposium that featured podium and poster presentations, a panel discussion, and informal opportunities to discuss research interests. Lower limb amputation is an impairment that constrains mobility and negatively affects quality of life, but new research in neuromechanics is producing novel physical therapies and bionic prostheses. 

    Dr. Rosenblatt.  Dr. Fey.  Dr. Sawers.

    (From left) Drs. Major and Rosenblatt.The symposium was designed to enhance the exchange of ideas and potential collaborative research. The conference introduced USA neuromechanics researchers to groundbreaking Japanese research on lower limb bionic prostheses, launched an ongoing dialogue on how neuromechanics research can enhance the rehabilitation of persons with lower limb loss, and identified areas for future research. Integrated into the scientific program were post-symposium opportunities to continue the dialogue, including an on-line follow-up forum and publicly accessible Proceedings.  

    Featured speaker, Hiroaki Hobara, PhD.Distinguished featured speaker, Hiroaki Hobara, PhD, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tokyo and Tsukuba, Japan, presented Active Amputees: Biomechanics of Running-Specific Prostheses.

    Elliott Rouse, PhD (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Andrew Sawers, CPO, PhD (University of Illinois, Chicago), Matthew Major, PhD (Northwestern University, Chicago), Noah Rosenblatt, PhD (Rosalind Franklin University, North Chicago), and Nicholas Fey, PhD (University of Texas, Dallas), delivered research presentations.

    Dr. RouseDr. Rouse presented The Role of Mechanical Impedance in Human Neuromotor Control and Wearable Robotic Systems; Dr. Sawers presented Falls among Lower Limb Prosthesis Users: Refocusing through an Epidemiological Lens; Dr. Major presented How a priori Knowledge of a Perturbation Impacts Proactive and Reactive Locomotor Strategies of Below-Knee Prosthesis Users; Dr. Rosenblatt presented The Effects of Fear of Falling on Balance and Gait: Lessons from Intact Adults and Implications for Prosthetic Design and Rehabilitation; and Dr. Fey presented Assessing the Neuromechanical Response of Individuals with Major Lower-Limb Loss during Steady and Non-Steady-State Locomotion. Research speakers also participated in the panel discussion. Mr. Koki Kawano, represented the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Washington, D.C., and presented Research Collaborations with Japan.

    Other researchers presented posters of their recent studies in neuromechanics in the exhibit hall. Symposium posters were available in both print and digital format on portable drives that were distributed to registered participants.

    Matthew Major, PhD, and R. J. Garrick, PhD, organized the symposium. Dr. Garrick said, “This was an exciting conference that generated valuable discussions. Dr. Major and I hope that the seminal ideas presented during the scientific program in The Neuromechanics of Rehabilitation for Lower Limb Loss will result in new research and products that will maximize the quality of life for individuals with lower limb loss.” The organizers deeply appreciate financial support from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC), and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine.

  • Fatone and Caldwell Teach NU-FlexSIV Socket Course at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital

    Fatone & Caldwell teach NU-FlexSIV Socket Course at Mary Freebed Hospital (Grand Rapids, MI).

    Fatone & Caldwell teach NU-FlexSIV Socket Course at Mary Freebed Hospital (Grand Rapids, MI).Stefania Fatone, PhD, and Ryan Caldwell, CP, taught the 2-day, hands-on NU-FlexSIV Socket Course to prosthetists at the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (Grand Rapids, MI). Participants learned to fit, fabricate and modify the NU-FlexSIV Socket. Participating prosthetists demonstrated good results fitting the NU-FlexSIV Socket to 5 persons with transfemoral amputation. Prosthetists who participated in both course days earned 15.5 continuing education credits from the American Board for Certification in Prosthetics, Orthotics and Pedorthics. 

  • Matthew Major Presents to U.S. Congressional Committee

       Dr. Major was an invited witness for "Empowering U.S. Veterans through Technology".   Dr. Major was an invited witness for "Empowering U.S. Veterans through Technology".

    Dr. Major was an invited witness for "Empowering U.S. Veterans through Technology".Matthew Major, PhD, VA Research Health Scientist and Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University, was an invited witness for the Emerging Technologies in the Field of Military and Veterans Care showcase and appeared before the U.S. Congressional Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology; and the Subcommittee on Energy. Dr. Major and four other witnesses presented on Empowering U.S. Veterans through Technology

    Dr. Major summarized the significance of his research investigating balance and developing strategies and technologies to prevent fall injury among veterans with upper- and lower-limb amputations. He noted that rehabilitation interventions do not end in the clinic and emphasized that the clinical application of evidence-based therapies can contribute to veterans’ health and quality of life. Citing the need to promote interdisciplinary research that can restore maximum independence and mobility to veterans, Dr. Major addressed opportunities to integrate services and personalize wearable technologies.

    See Empowering U.S. Veterans through Technology for the full testimony.

The Childress Fund

Established with a generous gift from the Childress family, the Childress Fund accepts donations that help to continue Dudley Childress' work by stimulating interest in rehabilitation engineering for Prosthetics-Orthotics.

The Childress Fund benefits all who are interested in P&O and especially individuals who live with physical impairments. We invite you to be part of this ongoing effort by giving generously to the Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Research and Education Fund.