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Project

Broadening Access to Overground Cycling Exercise

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 100 K
Funding amount
Abstract
Broadening Access to Overground Cycling Exercise

Individuals with SCI have difficulty exercising, which can lead to weight gain, bone loss, muscle atrophy, poor circulation, impaired cardiovascular function, decreased self-confidence, depression, and overall poor health. Unfortunately, adapted exercise equipment is often confined to specialized gyms, requires significant assistance to set up, and does not provide a strenuous workout of the large lower extremity muscles. Stationary motor and FES-driven exercise cycles for persons with SCI are commercially available, but our preliminary work indicates that overground cycling provides recipients of implanted lower extremity neuroprostheses with uniquely effective workouts resulting in tangible health benefits, including increased muscle strength/endurance and enhanced quality of life. Overground biking instills a sense of personal freedom, pride and community through the unique ability to ride outside and engage with others as active participants in society.
The purpose of this assistive technology development grant is to expand our existing implant-driven cycling program, which won the gold medal in the FES Bike Race at the 2016 Cybathlon in Zurich Switzerland (http://www.cybathlon.ethz.ch/en/cybathlon-news/cybathlon-results/fes-results.html), and extend access to overground biking to a wider segment of the SCI population. We propose to 1) Design and verify operation of a new, wirelessly-controlled multichannel surface stimulator suitable for at-home use by clinicians or individuals with SCI without technical support, 2) Develop a new user and clinical interface based on a cell-phone application that allows easy and intuitive customization of stimulation parameters and adjustment of cycle timing, and 3) Instrument commercially available recumbent tricycles and wirelessly integrate them with the new stimulators to produce three self-contained surface stimulation-driven cycles. This effort will result in a standard set of components and procedures for clinicians and users to independently transform existing tricycles into surface stimulation-driven devices suitable for stationary or overground biking themselves. It is a necessary next step toward broadening access to overground cycling ultimately partnering with local adapted exercise centers to make the technology available to their clients.
Our area of focus is assistive technology and expanding exercise access to those with SCI. The development of a wirelessly controlled multichannel surface stimulation cycle will promote the ability to exercise independently for individuals with SCI. In addition, this will promote improved health benefits, quality of life, and an outdoor option for exercise and recreation. This innovative project supports the motivation for the Neilsen Foundation to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their families living with spinal cord injury.
(CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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System

Categories
  • FOR (ANZSRC)

    0903 Biomedical Engineering

  • RCDC

    Assistive Technology

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC

    Bioengineering

  • RCDC

    Rehabilitation

  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Clinical Research

  • RCDC

    Neurodegenerative