Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering Laboratory

Muscle-Based Control Of Advanced Upper-Limb Prostheses

Study Goal

The goal of this research study is to use electromyography (EMG) as well as other movement information in order to provide higher level understanding of arm movement. This information will be used to support the development of an advanced arm prosthesis that uses a person’s movement signals from their brain to provide advanced arm movement that is as natural as possible.

Study Summary

In this research study, we will work with individuals with trans-radial (forearm or wrist) amputation and individuals with healthy arms to examine the dynamic signals from arm/hand muscles that are used to drive and guide wrist and hand movement.  Our goal is to use this detailed information to develop a movement (motor) control scheme for future hand/wrist prostheses that includes sensory feedback.  To capture reliable detailed information we will use surface and intramuscular electromyography (sEMG and iEMG, respectively), as well as kinetics and kinematics, to inform the development of a biomimetic control scheme for upper-limb amputees using a neurally interfaced prosthesis. Results of this study will provide the foundation for future development of a neuroprosthesis to restore motor function to individuals with upper-limb amputation, thereby increasing the functionality of prosthetic limbs and improving quality of life. 

Inclusion Criteria

  • Between the ages of 18 and 70 years old.
  • Must be able to speak or read English
  • Amputees: Have an amputation of at least one upper limb, at a level between the wrist and shoulder joints.
  • Amputees: Subjects must be over 1 year post-amputation 

Exclusion Criteria

  • Any serious disease or disorder that could affect their ability to participate in this study (i.e. bleeding disorders, lymphatic disease).
  • Women subjects of childbearing age must not be pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Visual impairment that would affect ability to view a computer monitor (glasses are OK).
  • Ongoing severe nerve pain, carpal tunnel or other limb pain related to peripheral nerve issues.
  • Amputees: Subjects must not have severe phantom limb pain.

Principal Investigator

Robert Gaunt, PhD

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Additional Information

EMG Flyer