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.

  • Yeongchi Wu to Be Awarded US ISPO Lifetime Achievement Award

    Yeongchi Wu, MD: Physician, Researcher, Innovator, ArtistThe United States national member society of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (US ISPO) will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Yeongchi Wu, MD. Dr. Wu will be recognized at the 2017 Caribbean Rim Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for his career contributions to rehabilitation medicine and P&O. At the conference, Dr. Wu will present “Art, Science and Technology". A gifted artist and sculptor, some of Dr. Wu’s works will be featured and sold during an art auction of members' work.

    International, multidisciplinary, and intellectually generous, Dr. Wu continues to influence and inform people from his perspectives as a physician, researcher, prosthetist, and artist. As a physician, he trained many medical students, interns and residents who now practice Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Through his original and innovative research, Dr. Wu developed and patented the touchless catheter; and createded a novel communication board for individuals with SCI. His current project focuses on dilatancy casting technology for P&O and its knowledge translation into clinical practice. Dilatancy casting embodies Dr. Wu’s oft-stated dictum, “Better, cheaper, faster and greener”.

    Throughout his career, Dr. Wu has improved countless lives, and especially the lives of people who live with physical impairments. Dr. Wu plans to retire from Northwestern University at the end of March 2017 and he will be deeply missed.

  • Focus on NUPOC Contributions to O&P Knowledge

    NUPOC researchers and educators and their contributions to O&P knowledge are featured in the March 2017 issue of The O&P Edge.

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and her work on a novel, collaborative research project, “Ability of Epidermal Sensors to Measure Lower Limb Temperature during Activity with a Prosthesis Simulator” were featured in the article, O&P Research Supports Evidence-Based Care (V Clark, The O&P Edge, March 2017, 16(3):20-34). Dr. Fatone and her research collaborators aim to maintain the residual limb health of lower limb prosthesis users. Using thin sensors that adhere to the skin and send signals to an external receiver, Dr. Fatone and her research team are collecting data about temperature and pressure at the socket-limb interface. Learn more about Interface Monitoring System to Promote Residual Limb Health.

    John Brinkmann, MA, CPO, FAAOP(D), identified the value of research to improve patient care in Turning Knowledge into Action: using research to improve patient care (The O&P Edge, March 2017, 16(3):46-51). The article cites data indicating that implementation of new knowledge requires behavioral change at the point of decision making. Changes at the practice level require implementing EBPs, reinforcing goals, and supporting clinicians by adjusting workloads to encourage new practice habits.

    Widely read among P&O professionals, this issue of O&P Edge enjoyed even broader dissemination by its distribution to registrants at the 43rd Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists (AAOP) that was held March 1-4, 2017, in Chicago, IL. 

  • NUPOC Contributions to 2017 Academy Meeting

    NUPOC was well represented among program presenters, participants, and contributors at the 43rd Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists (AAOP) that was held March 1-4, 2017, in Chicago, IL. The Symposium attracted P&O clinicians, researchers, students, other health professionals, and corporate representatives. NUPOC organizational contributors to the Symposium were Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), a member of the AAOP Clinical Content Committee and John Brinkmann, MA, CPO, FAAOP(D), an AAOP Director. Mr. Brinkmann was inducted as an Academy Fellow with Distinction during the Annual Business Meeting.

    As a professional development experience, NUPOC MPO students from the class of 2018 participated in Symposium events, including conducting informed consent and collecting gait data for "Wearable Sensor Technology to Characterize Gait and Balance Performance of Lower-Limb Prostheis Users" (PI, Matthew Major); and the O&P High School Awareness Program conducted by Chris Robinson, MS, CPO, MBA, ATC, FAAOP(D).

  • Academy Special Event: The NU-FlexSIV Socket Course

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Ryan Caldwell, CP/L, FAAOP, conducted two 90-minute presentations of the NU-FlexSIV Socket Course to prosthetists who pre-registered for a session. The course introduced sub-ischial socket and vacuum technology and taught the fundamentals, fabrication, and fitting of the NU-FlexSIV Socket technique for persons with transfemoral amputation. Dr. Fatone and Mr. Caldwell discussed the Mold Reduction Algorithm for the NU-FlexSIV socket and engaged in an active question and answer session.

    Each session was capped at 40 participants and demand exceeded the space available. Three highly active patient models with unilateral transfemoral amputation demonstrated gait, donned and doffed their NU-FlexSIV Prosthetic Sockets, and spoke positively about their experiences wearing the socket for work, sports, and daily activities.

  • NUPOC Presentations at 2017 Academy Meeting

    NUPOC researchers and educators presented their work in multiple categories at the 43rd Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP), March 1-4, Chicago, IL. Presentations are listed in alphabetically order by first author. Among co-authors, the underlined name indicates the presenter.

    Brinkmann J (2017) Adherence among Users of Orthopedic Footwear and Lower-Limb Orthoses. 
    Dillon M, Fatone S (2017) Outcomes of Dysvascular Partial Foot Amputation. 
    Dillon M, Major M, Kaluf B, Fatone S, Balasanov Y (2017) How well can we predict K-level using the amputee mobility predictor? 
    Fatone S, Tran L, Tucker K, Johnson WB, Mowrer C, Caldwell R (2017) Quantification of Rectifications for the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket. 
    Major MJ. (2017) Falls in Persons with Upper-Limb Loss
    Major MJ, Caldwell R, Hansen A, Fatone S (2017) Hybrid Vacuum Pump for Vacuum-Assisted Suspension in Transfemoral Prostheses. 
    Robinson C (2017) Approved Clinical Mentor Course. 
    Robinson C, et al. (2017) The Future of Big Data for O&P Clinical Practice. 
    Robinson C (2017) Hacking Your Academy Membership. 
    Robinson C, Carroll K (2017) O&P High School Awareness Program. 
    Stine R, Fatone S (2017) Improving Patient Care with Smart Data. 
    Tran L, Han S, Caldwell R, Rogers J, Coleman T, Fatone S (2017) Ability of Epidermal Sensors to Measure Lower-Limb Temperature during Activity with a Prosthesis Simulator. 

  • Michael Dillon Presents Shared Decision Making in Dysvascular Partial-Foot Amputation

    Dr. Dillon presented research about Shared Decision Making in Dysvascular Partial-Foot AmputationMichael Dillon, PhD (Head of the Prosthetics and Orthotics program, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia), discussed shared decision making and the results of a recent systematic review about the outcomes of dysvascular partial-foot amputation. Shared decision making is a new concept in amputation surgery, although it is used in other areas of healthcare, notably cancer screening and treatment. The project team developed carefully crafted resources to help patients and clinicians make well-informed decisions about amputation surgery.

    The incidence of lower limb amputation has remained constant over the last 15 years, but a dramatic shift has occurred in the types of lower limb amputations performed. The incidence of transtibial amputation has declined and evidence indicates that partial foot amputation has increased proportionally. Partial foot amputation due to diabetes and vascular surgery is associated with high rates of complications and re-amputations; however, outcomes of transtibial amputations appear to result in similar mobility and quality of life with relatively few complications and re-amputations.

    Drs. Fatone and Dillon are conducting research in shared decision makingA Decision Aid for People Facing Partial Foot Amputation Due to Peripheral Arterial Disease was developed from a systematic review (M Dillon, S Fatone, M Quigley (2016) Describe the outcomes of dysvascular partial foot amputation and how these compare to transtibial amputation: a systematic review protocol for the development of shared decision making resources. Systematic Reviews. doi:10.1186/s13643-015-0161-9). This resource offers support to both patients and clinicians in shared decision-making prior to partial foot amputation. This work forms part of a research collaboration with Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), Evaluating Outcomes of Dysvascular Partial Foot and Transtibial Amputation: A Systematic Review and Development of Shared Decision Making Resources.

  • Chang-Yong Ko Presents Research Overview

    Stefania Fatone introduces NUPOC to Mr. Kim (left) and Dr. Ko (center)  Dr. Chang-Yong Ko presented an overview of his interest to NUPOC researchers

    (From left) Prosthetist Kim and Dr. Ko visited NUPOC from Rehabilitation Engineering Research Institute of KoreaNUPOC welcomed Chang-Yong Ko, PhD, Principal Researcher, and Mr. Hoonseon Kim, prosthetist-orthotist. Dr. Ko and Mr. Kim visited NUPOC at the invitation of Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), who was Plenary Speaker at the 2016 Asian Prosthetic and Orthotic Scientific Meeting (APOSM) in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Fatone conducted an informational tour of NUPOC and discussed her research projects with Dr. Ko and Mr. Kim.  

    Dr. Ko presented an overview of the programs, services and research projects at the Korea Rehabilitation Research Institute. Dr. Ko holds a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering (Yonsei University, South Korea); his dissertation title was Non-Pharmacological Therapies Using Biophysical Stimuli for Treatment and Prevention of Osteoporosis (2011). He has conducted research at Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP (Germany, 2011-2012).

    Dr. Ko’s current research interests include volume-adjustable prosthetic sockets; joint/segment coordination during gait; muscle biomechanics; rehabilitation programs for persons with amputation; and robotic orthoses for rehabilitative therapies. He focuses on the musculoskeletal biomechanics of amputation, spinal cord injury, osteoporosis and arthritis, and bone and muscle adaption to biophysical stimuli. He has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed papers published in international and domestic journals.

  • NUPOC Researchers Present Posters at 2017 Academy Meeting

    Dr. Wu presenting research poster at AAOP 2017.  Matty Major presented a research poster at AAOP 2017.

    Yeongchi Wu, MD, and Matthew Major, PhD, discussed their research posters with attendees of the 2017 American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium, March 1-4, in Chicago, Illinois.

    >Major MJ, McConn S, Stine R, Gard SA. (2017) Pilot Study on the Effects of Upper Limb Loss and Prosthesis Use on Locomotor Stability. (poster) American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium, March 1-4, Chicago, IL. 
    >Wu Y, Robinson C, Casanova H, Michael J, Gard S. (2017) Knowledge Translation of Dilatancy Socket Fabrication. (poster) American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium, March 1-4, Chicago, IL.

  • NUPOC Represents BME at 46th Annual Career Day for Girls

     Students learn about P&O using hand prosthesis simulation  Girls learn about biomedical engineering and prostheses

    J. Chad Duncan, PhD, CPO, CRC, represented Biomedical Engineering with three consecutive overviews of rehabilitation engineering in prosthetics and orthotics (P&O) that he presented to young women interested in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) careers. 

    Dr. Duncan presented an overview of P&O for the 46th Annual Career Day for Girls  Experiencing the grip of a prosthetic hand

    The Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering and the NU Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hosted the 46th Annual Career Day for Girls on February 25, 2017. The full day of activities included keynote presentations, hands-on activities and virtual lab tours for girls in sixth grade through high school. Parents and girls attended the NUPOC presentations from throughout northern Illinois public and private school systems, including Taft, New Trier, Glenbrook South, Glen Ellyn, Crystal Lake, Hinsdale, St. Francis, St. Francis Xavier, and many other schools.

    Sending a text with a prosthetic hand simulatorThe girls and their parents closely examined and manipulated upper- and lower-limb prostheses that helped them learn about functional design in prosthetics research, endo- and exoskeletal prostheses, myoelectric signals. The interactive opportunities with prostheses stimulated insightful observations and questions that indicated the girls’ interest in pursuing future opportunities in rehabilitation engineering and P&O. 

    R. J. Garrick, PhD, moderated this collaborative STEM outreach program.

  • NUPOC Presents STEM Program to Scholars de Salud

    IHSCA student uses cable upper limb simulator   NUPOC hosts Scholars de Salud for STEM program  

    NUPOC presented a multimodal STEM program to 22 Scholars de Salud from Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (IHSCA) Charter High School. Henrietta Barcelo (IHSCA Industry Liaison) and Nicole Paprocki (former IHSCA science instructor, current Schweitzer Fellow, and medical student at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine) accompanied the students. IHSCA prepares students to succeed in competitive university programs and develop readiness in healthcare careers.

    J. Chad Duncan, PhD, presents an overview of upper- and lower-limb prostheses.  IHSCA students learn about upper-limb prostheses  

    J. Chad Duncan, PhD, CPO, CRC, presented information about training and the scope of careers in P&O; and a detailed overview of upper- and lower limb prosthetic devices. Students enjoyed the opportunity to closely examine and manipulate prosthetic devices.

    NUPOC graduate stNUPOC MPO 2018 student panelists discuss preparations for a career in P&O.udents Stephanie Mullen, Morgan Murphy, Aaron Plawecki and Emily Power (MPO 2018) conducted orientation tours of NUPOC facilities and contributed to a panel discussion that highlighted activities and educational preparation for careers in P&O. They generously related experiences that influenced their decisions to enter P&O and contributed insights about foundational activities that would direct students’ career decisions.

    IHSCA student exams cable control of upper limb simulatorThe Scholars de Salud actively participated in the STEM program by asking questions. During the IHSCA debrief, every student stated that they enjoyed the NUPOC STEM program and gained new knowledge. After attending the NUPOC program, two of the students reported that they now are considering P&O among their top 3 career choices! Ms. Paprocki said, "This was a great opportunity to understand the inter-professional collaborations in P&O clinical practice. It was an excellent resource to expand our knowledge and I hope that NUPOC will continue to connect with Scholars de Salud and IHSCA."

    R. J. Garrick, PhD, developed and moderated this STEM program.

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.