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.
- Fatone and Caldwell Present at Northwest Chapter AAOP04/21/2017
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 Olympics04/11/2017
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 Seminar04/10/2017
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 Day04/06/2017
NUPOC presented two posters at the 13th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day. Steven A. Gard, PhD, presented a poster, The 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, 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).
- NUPOC Faculty Mentorship Is Vital to Capstone Process04/03/2017
An integral part of the NUPOC MPO student experience is developing an understanding of clinically relevant research through the Capstone Project. The Capstone is a required, multi-faceted process that matches faculty mentors with students who work autonomously to develop a clinically relevant literature review. Through mentored interactions, students develop research skills that integrate literature review, critical analysis, and writing. The Capstone process enables students to become good consumers of research that will impact their evidence-based clinical practice of P&O.
Dr. Fatone accentuated the importance of process and systematic academic rigor for students who are developing their capstone projects. “Students use individualized feedback from faculty mentors to refine and improve their projects. The Capstone process helps our students develop intellectual rigor, critical thinking, problem-solving, goal-setting, and timeliness. More than a graded assignment, full engagement with the Capstone process throughout the MPO program can cultivate students’ research skills, evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking that will augment their professional clinical careers in P&O.”
Dr. Major reflected on his experience mentoring MPO students and their capstone research projects. “I am pleased to have had the opportunity to mentor two driven and capable students, Dylan Borrenpohl and Micah Alford, who graduated with the first cohort of the Northwestern University Master’s in Prosthetics and Orthotics degree program. Both of these students completed ambitious capstone projects that involved extensive data collection and analysis, going above and beyond the expectations for this milestone. Their projects were extremely successful, resulting in separate publications. Dylan and Micah found the capstone process to be an enriching experience and I am proud of their accomplishments.”
- NUPOC Capstone Projects Featured04/03/2017
Three NUPOC student capstone research projects were selected for inclusion in The Academy Today, Spring 2017:13(2)11. Featured capstones are:
Validity of the iPhone M7 Motion Co-Processor as a Pedometer for Able-Bodied Ambulation by Micah Alford, MPO (2015). This work was published as Major MJ and Alford M (2016), Validity of the iPhone M7 motion co-processor as a pedometer for able-bodied ambulation, Journal of Sports Sciences 34(23):2160-2164. Matthew Major, PhD, mentored Mr. Alford and his research.
A Survey-Based Study on the Professional Opinion of the Medicare Functional Classification Level and the Utilization of Outcome Measures in K-level Assignment by Dylan Borrenpohl, MPO (2015). This work was published as Borrenpohl D, Kaluf B and Major MJ (2016) Survey of U.S. practitioners on the validity of the Medicare functional classification level system and utility of clinical outcome measures for aiding K-Level assignment, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 97(7):1053-63. Matthew Major, PhD, mentored Mr. Borrenpohl and his research.
Relationship between Realistic Pre-Operative Expectations and Good Long-Term Outcomes for Persons with Planned Lower-Limb Amputations by Allison Cerutti, MPO (2015). Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), mentored Ms. Cerutti and her research.
- Chet and Ruby Forrest Donate Poetry Proceeds to Prosthetics Research03/29/2017
Chet and Ruby Forrest have authored a book of more than 30 original poems and an accompanying compact disc of songs that are titled Welcome Home Wounded Warriors (4Rest Productions, 2016). Both works are available through Amazon.com. The authors are donating the after tax proceeds from the book and CD sales of Welcome Home Wounded Warriors to Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) for prosthetics research.
Retired from a civilian career as an electrical engineer for Pacific Gas and Electric, Mr. Forrest develops initiatives and endeavors “to improve things for people”. A Navy veteran, Mr. Forrest served on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, then transferred to a submarine. He has parlayed his respect and love for the ocean into songs and a book of essays, Emotion for the Ocean; and has served as a member of the Advisory Council of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). His wish to help Wounded Warriors spurred him and his wife to compose their book of poems and to contribute the sales profits to prosthetics research at NUPOC.
Mr. and Mrs. Forrest show acute awareness of war’s destructive effects on American bodies, minds, and families. The poems are dedicated to “all the United States Veterans and Wounded Warriors who sacrificed so much for our country and our freedoms”. Written as a tribute to injured troops, the poems intuit veterans’ experiences of pain, determination, resilience, and hope. The authors pay particular heed to veterans who have experienced traumatic amputations and use prostheses as they pursue their postwar lives.
NUPOC appreciates Chet and Ruby Forrest for their generosity in donating the profits of their original poems to NUPOC; and for their recognition of the importance of prosthetics research for veterans and all people who live with amputation.
- Yeongchi Wu to Be Awarded US ISPO Lifetime Achievement Award03/25/2017
The 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.
- Stefania Fatone Attends NSF Smart and Connected Health PI Meeting03/22/2017
Stefania Fatone, PhD, attended the National Science Foundation (NSF) Smart and Connected Health (SCH) Principle Investigator (PI) Meeting held at Boston University on March 21 and 22, 2017. Dr. Fatone represented her fellow Co-PIs, Drs. John Rogers, Yonggang Huang and Todd Coleman, for the project Interface Monitoring System to Promote Residual Limb Health that is funded by NIH through the SCH program. She presented a short Ignite Talk and a poster, Interface Monitoring System to Promote Residual Limb Health, that described the project.
The meeting was convened to share information about the transdisciplinary projects that are funded through the Smart and Connected Health Program and to discuss research progress, challenges, resource sharing, future directions, and to generate a research agenda for this developing area. This SCH meeting provided a rare and valuable opportunity for PIs from multiple disciplines to exchange information about research in smart and connected health and to develop new avenues for research collaboration.
- Honoring the Career Contributions of Yeongchi Wu, MD03/20/2017
The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), together with NUPOC, held a reception to honor Yeongchi Wu, MD, and to appreciate his contributions as compassionate physician, a creative researcher, and patent-holding innovator.
Dr. Wu is NU medical alumnus who has been a FSM faculty for more than 40 years. As a physician, Dr. Wu has improved the rehabilitative care of patients. His rigid removable dressing system for post-amputation patients has become a best practice at NU, nationwide, and internationally. Through his original and innovative research, Dr. Wu developed and patented the touchless catheter, a device for the management of neurogenic bladder; and developed a novel communication board for nonverbal, severely disabled individuals. He trained many medical students, interns and residents who now practice PM&R; and mentored and positively influenced generations of FSM researchers and P&O clinicians.
International, multidisciplinary, and intellectually generous, Dr. Wu continues to influence and inform people from his perspectives as a physician, researcher, prosthetist, and artist. His current research focuses on dilatancy casting technology that is designed to reduce the time/cost for the fabrication of P&O devices and to translate that technology 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.
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.