Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center

NUPOC News

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.

  • NUPOC MPO 2018 Students Volunteer at Special Olympics
    05/24/2017

    Michael Hoggatt and Natalie Pavlov volunteered at the Special Olympics Bowling Competition (Chicago).Michael Hoggatt and Natalie Pavlov, graduate students in the MPO class of 2018, took time to volunteer at the Special Olympics Chicago Bowling Competition on May 20, 2017. In addition to fulfilling the demands of their onsite, clinical practicum, members of the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Student Society (NUPOSS) work pro-actively to further medical knowledge and scholarship, professional development, and effective communication and interpersonal skills.

    Mr. Hoggatt and Ms. Pavlov volunteered at the Special Olympics Bowling Competition in support of the NUPOSS mission of Community Engagement and Service.

  • Fatone and Caldwell to Offer AOPA Pre-Congress Course
    05/24/2017

    Dr. Fatone instructs CPOs about the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket   

    Mr. Caldwell instructs CPOs about the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, developers of the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket, will offer a comprehensive overview of the Socket during the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) World Congress Pre-Conference Education program scheduled from 1:00 to 5:00 on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. The 2017 AOPA World Congress meets in Las Vegas, NV, on September 5 through 9.

    Dr. Fatone and Mr. Caldwell will use diverse instructional techniques, including video, to train participating CPOs to evaluate patients, select liners, and cast, fit, fabricate and rectify the NU-FlexSIV Socket. Evaluation of NU-FlexSIV Socket function will draw from clinical and formal case studies. NU-FlexSIV Socket performance assessment will use clinical outcome measures, gait analysis, and socket comfort scores for a small group of civilian and military amputees.

    Space is limited and registration is required. At the time of AOPA registration, individuals who wish to attend the NU-FlexSIV Socket course must also register for the Pre-Conference Education: Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum Socket Course.  

  • Kierra Falbo Exhibit Opens at NUPOC
    05/17/2017

    Kierra Falbo (MPO 2018), is showing her oil paints in 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 paintings by Kierra Falbo. Ms. Falbo paints landscapes and seascapes with a colorful and realistic technique that reflects her love of the out-of-doors and travel.

    Ms. Falbo is a Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO, class of 2018) student at the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC). She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC). Currently, in addition to her clinical practicum at NUPOC, Ms. Falbo is forging new artistic proficiencies at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts (Chicago, IL), where she studies sculpture. In the future, she hopes to combine her tandem passions for art and improving lives through prosthetics and orthotics.

    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 trained rigorously 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.

  • Blatchford Recognizes Fatone Research Team as Finalists
    05/11/2017

    Dr. Fatone is congratulated as a finalist for the Blatchford Prize by Stephen Blatchford and Rajiv Hanspal, President of ISPO. Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and the team that worked on the development of the NU-FlexSIV Socket were finalists for the 2017 ISPO Blatchford Award. The Blatchford Award is conferred on a team that has an outstanding record of innovative achievement in the field of prosthetics and/or orthotics. The six finalists were shortlisted from among sixty-three applicants.

    Dr. Fatone accepted congratulations and recognition for her team that contributed to the Department of Defense-funded research project, Development of Subischial Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations. Principal Investigator Fatone lead the finely tuned team that comprised Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP; R. J. Garrick, PhD; William Brett Johnson, PhD; Matthew Major, PhD; Kerice Tucker, BS; Lilly Tran, MS; and Jason Wilken, PhD. 

  • NUPOC Researchers Present at ISPO 2017
    05/11/2017

    ISPO 2017 in view of Tabletop Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa.  Steven A. Gard, PhD, at ISPO 2017, overlooking Cape Town, South Africa.

    Steven A. Gard, PhD, Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Matthew Major, PhD, attended the World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) held May 8 through May 11, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Fatone co-chaired a free paper session on Below Knee Prosthetics–Prosthetic Feet; and Dr. Major chaired Applied Research in Non-Steady Locomotion to Optimize Interventions for Neurological Impairment and Limb Loss. NUPOC researchers also presented the following works. The presenter’s name is shown in bold. 

    Drs. Fatone and Dillon presented research at ISPO 2017.Dillon M, Fatone S, Hoffman T. Symposium: Outcomes of Partial Foot Amputation Can Inform Difficult Decisions about Amputation Surgery Using a Shared Decision-Making Approach; Dillon M, Major M, Kaluf B, Fatone SHow Well Can the Amputee Mobility Predictor and Basic Patient Demographics Predict the Medicare Functional Classification Level (K-Level) in People with Transfemoral and Transtibial Amputation?; Fatone S, Caldwell R, Major M. Effect of Interface Components on Residual Limb Weight-Bearing Tolerance in the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) SocketFatone S, Charlton P, Barnett C, Ramstrand N (2017) Balancing Act: Exploring Clinical, Theoretical and Evidence-Based Perspectives in the Optimization of Balance Using Orthoses in Peripheral Neuropathy (symposium); and Fatone S, Owen E, Hansen A. The Effect of Walking in Footwear with Varying Heel Sole Differentials on Shank and Foot Segment Kinematics. 

    Gard SA, Nepomuceno A, Stine R, Boutwell E, Brinkmann J. A Model to Explain the Effect of Shock Absorbing Pylons on Gait; and Gard SA, Major MJ, Nepomuceno A, Stine R. Effect of Foot Immobilization on Able-Bodied Gait as a Model to Increase Understanding about Bilateral Transtibial Amputee Gait. 

    Major MJ. Anticipatory and Response Mechanics of Persons with Transtibial Amputation When Subjected to a Medial-Lateral PerturbationMajor MJ, McConn S, Stine R, Gard SA. Pilot Study on the Effects of Upper-Limb Loss and Prosthesis Use on Locomotor StabilityMajor MJ. Falls in Persons with Upper-Limb Loss; Prost V, Olesnavage V, Major MJ, Winter A. Design and Testing of a Linear Ankle Stiffness, Modular Novel Passive Prosthetic Foot; and Olesnavage V, Prost V, Major MJ, Winter A. Clinical Validation of Predicting Lower Leg Trajectory for Prosthetic Foot/Ankle Design and Optimization

  • NUPOC Hosts Interactive P&O Program for Youth
    04/27/2017

    NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  

    NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work DayNUPOC hosted three interactive, educational sessions about Prosthetics and Orthotics for the Northwestern University Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Three adult chaperones accompanied each group of 15 young people. Learning modules focused on The Fabulous Foot: Biological and Prosthetic, with sections dedicated to prostheses, foot-ankle anatomy, plantar pressure data, and orthoses. MPO 2018 volunteer presenters were: Ruth Guiness, Justin Hall, Michael Hoggatt, Terese Jenks, Brandon Jones, Alex Lester, Caitlin Ludemann and Laura Marsden.

    NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

    NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work DayVisitors learned about lower limb prostheses. Alex Lester identified materials used to make a lower limb prosthesis; Brandon Jones identified parts of a lower limb prosthesis; Laura Marden explained how the level of amputation affects the function of lower limb prostheses; and Caitlin Ludemann discussed lower limb anatomy and identified bones in the foot. 

    Shifting the focus from prostheses to orthoses, Justin Hall discussed plantar pressure and how to use a Harris Mat. NUPOC volunteers helped youth and adult visitors use a Harris Mat to measure and interpret their static plantar pressure. Attendees took home their footprints and handouts to share with their family.

    NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

    In the orthotics section, visitors learned about Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFOs), Wrist-Hand Orthoses (WHOs), spine orthoses and others. Terese Jenks explained why people use orthoses; Michael Hoggatt discussed parts of the body that can benefit from orthoses; Ruth Guiness identified materials used to make orthoses. NUPOC volunteers helped visitors don and doff demonstration lower limb and upper limb orthoses.

    NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  NUPOC presented educational programs for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

    NUPOC appreciates our MPO 2018 volunteers. We also thank Martin Buckner, CPO, for facilitating the loan of demonstration AFOs; and Michael Cavanaugh, CPO, for conducting Harris Mat training. R. J. Garrick, PhD, developed and moderated this educational program. 

  • Fatone and Caldwell Present at Northwest Chapter AAOP
    04/21/2017

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Ryan Caldwell, CP, FAAOP, presented a 2-hour educational session, “The NU-FlexSIV Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation: Description of Technique and Preliminary Evaluation”. The instructional session was presented as part of the two-day Continuing Education Conference offered by the Northwest Chapter Meeting of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (NWAAOP) in Bellevue, WA, held on April 20-21, 2017. 

  • MPO 2018 Students Volunteer at Special Olympics
    04/11/2017

    Fourteen NUPOC MPO 2018 students volunteered at 4/18/2017 Special Olympics Chicago gymnastics event.Fourteen graduate students in the NUPOC MPO class of 2018 volunteered to assist Special Olympics Chicago (SOC) with a gymnastics event. Volunteers were: Alex Brenner, Bradley Carver, Sydney Coffey, Kierra Falbo, Sydney Graham, Michael Hoggatt, Spencer Leckrone, Morgan Murphy, Mackenzie Nichols, Drew Servais, Aaron Plawecki, Emily Power, Jacalyn Sickels, Chris Surface. SOC gymnastics day was an all-day event at Broadway Armory Park on April 8, 2017.

    The Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Student Society (NUPOSS) is an official NU student organization under the Department of PM&R. NUPOSS enriches MPO student experience through extracurricular activities in community service, medical scholarship, and professional development. NUPOSS Officers coordinate and organize all activities. Officers for the current NUPOSS class are: Michael Hoggatt, President; Megan Sech, Vice President; Kierra Falbo, Treasurer; and Terese Jenks, Secretary.

  • Peter Adamczyk, PhD, Presents NUPOC Research Seminar
    04/10/2017

        (Left) Peter Adamczyk, PhD, and Matthew Major, PhD.   Dr. Adamczyk and Dr. Gard discuss materials testing.

    Peter Adamczyk, PhD, presented Peter Adamczyk, PhD, Director, UW Biomechatronics, Assistive Devices, Gait Engineering and Rehabilitation Laboratory (UW BADGER Lab), presented Semi-Active Foot Prostheses for Low-Power Gait Restoration: Shiftable Shapes at a jointly held research seminar and Lunch and Learn at NUPOC.

    Although a common biomimetic approach to active lower limb prostheses adds control to the prosthetic ankle, artificial limbs can improve function in novel, non-biomimetic ways as well. One approach modulates prosthesis mechanical properties without adding mechanical power. Rather than directly replacing lost function, this approach seeks to improve gait by exploiting biomechanical workarounds. Designs that avoid human-scale power output can use mechanisms that improve conformance to the traditional goals of low weight, low power, and modest cost. Dr. Adamczyk discussed roll-over shape with respect to stabilization of center of mass, and stiffness of foot with respect to push-off. He presented several examples of semi-active devices and the concepts underlying their biomechanical function.

    NUPOC investigators and Dr. Adamczyk discussed mutual research interests. Drs. Gard and Major conducted informative tours of NUPOC facilities; and Dr. Major facilitated tours of related labs at PM&R. NUPOC appreciates Matthew Major, PhD, for inviting and hosting Dr. Adamczyk.

  • NUPOC Posters at Landsberg Research Day
    04/06/2017

    Rebecca Stine, MS, and Steven Gard, PhD, presented JBVAMC-MARL as a FSM core research facility at Landsberg Research Day 2017.NUPOC presented two posters at the 13th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day. Steven A. Gard, PhD, presented a posterThe Jesse Brown VA Medical Center – Motion Analysis Research Laboratory: A Tool for Studying Human Movement and Evaluating Prosthetic and Orthotic Performance (co-author, Rebecca Stine, MS). Located at NUPOC, the Jesse Brown VAMC Motion Analysis Research Laboratory (JBVAMC-MARL) is a Feinberg School of Medicine CORE research facility. Core facilities provide services to multiple investigators in at least three different departments or centers. Dr. Gard directs and Ms. Stine manages the JBVAMC-MARL.


    J. Chad Duncan, PhD, presents his poster at Landsberg Research Day (2017).J. Chad Duncan, PhD, presented The Effect of Having Comorbidity and Amputation on Finding Employment. The poster reports on research derived from the national Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) database RSA-911 and seeks to define the effects of comorbidities and amputation on VR employment outcomes. Results indicate that persons with amputation are 1.5 times less likely to find employment, compared to even higher odds for those with other comorbidities. This work was supported by The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RT5024-01-00) to the Langston University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (LU-RRTC).

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.