Tuesday May 21, 2019

Lower-limb Robot Exoskeleton, a wearable Robot likely to help Paralytic Patients move

Researchers from Beihang University in China and Aalborg University in Denmark developed the wearable robot to quickly recover from the stroke and spinal cord injury.

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Knee Joint. Pixabay.

Washington, October 26, 2016:  In good news for stroke and spinal cord injury patients, researchers have designed a lower-limb robot exoskeleton — a wearable robot that features natural knee movement to help patients regain the ability to walk or help strengthen their muscles. Researchers from Beihang University in China and Aalborg University in Denmark developed the wearable robot to greatly improve patients’ comfort and willingness to wear it for gait rehabilitation.

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The team’s approach focused on the knee joint, one of the most complex mechanical systems within the human body and a critical player during gait. The knee joint’s motion is actuated by several skeletal muscles along its articular surfaces, and its center of rotation moves. “Our new design features a parallel knee joint to improve the bio-imitability and adaptability of the exoskeleton,” explained Weihai Chen, professor at Beihang University. Movement transparency is critical when wearing a robot for gait rehab.

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When wearing the exoskeleton, its movement should be synchronised and consistent with a patient’s natural movement. For this, the team focused on bionic mechanical design. “To improve the transparency of the robot, we studied the structure of the human body, then built our model based on a biometric design of the lower limb exoskeleton,” Chen said. This design is the first known use of a parallel mechanism at the knee joint to imitate skeletal muscles.

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As far as its applications, the exoskeleton’s main role will be to help stroke or spinal cord injury patients with their rehab. “We plan to streamline it to be wearable and to provide a comfortable training experience,” Chen noted in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments. The team is also developing virtual reality games to help make the training process more enjoyable. The next step for the team is to collaborate with hospitals, because testing the robot out with patients can provide critical feedback from patients and doctors. (IANS).

  • Antara

    Hope it becomes greatly effective!

Next Story

High Doses of Vitamin D Can Severely Impact Your Kidney

Calcium levels may get worse before getting better in patients even after cessation of supplements, as vitamin D is fat soluble.

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"Our experience informs us that patients and clinicians should be better informed about the risks regarding the unfettered use of vitamin D," suggested the researchers. Pixabay

In a rare case, a 54-year-old man, after returning from a trip to Southeast Asia where he spent much of his holiday sunbathing, was diagnosed with kidney damage after he took high doses of vitamin D for years.

After referral to a kidney specialist and further testing, it was discovered that the man had been prescribed high doses of vitamin D by a naturopath, who recommended a dose of 8 drops every day, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

vitamin D
Clinicians must be aware of the risks of vitamin D use to limit complications related to hypercalcemia. Pixabay

Over two-and-a-half-years, the patient, who did not have a history of bone loss or vitamin D deficiency, took 8-12 drops of vitamin D daily, totalling 8,000-12,000 IU.

As a result, he had very high levels of calcium in the blood which left him with significant kidney damage.

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 400-1000 IU, with 800-2000 IU recommended for adults at high-risk of osteoporosis and for older adults.

“Although vitamin D toxicity is rare owing to a large therapeutic range, its widespread availability in various over-the-counter formulations may pose a substantial risk to uninformed patients,” said Bourne Auguste from the University of Toronto.

Clinicians must be aware of the risks of vitamin D use to limit complications related to hypercalcemia.

vitamin D
“Although vitamin D toxicity is rare owing to a large therapeutic range, its widespread availability in various over-the-counter formulations may pose a substantial risk to uninformed patients,” said Bourne Auguste from the University of Toronto. Pixabay

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Calcium levels may get worse before getting better in patients even after cessation of supplements, as vitamin D is fat soluble.

“Our experience informs us that patients and clinicians should be better informed about the risks regarding the unfettered use of vitamin D,” suggested the researchers. (IANS)