Tuesday February 25, 2020

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!

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Bioinformatics Method to be Used to Study Communication Between Cells

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The method, called NicheNet, helps researchers gain insight into how the gene expression of cells is regulated by interacting cells. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Do you know how a cell interacts with the other? The way you do on Twitter. Now, computational biologists have developed a new bioinformatics method to better study communication between cells.

The method, called NicheNet, helps researchers gain insight into how the gene expression of cells is regulated by interacting cells.

Studying intercellular communication is not only important to understand fundamental biology, but also to gain insights into diseases like cancer.

Interactions between cancer cells and others in the microenvironment of the tumour are crucial for its growth.

Led by Professor Ivan Saeys from VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research in Belgium developed this new bioinformatics method.

NicheNet has a broad range of potential applications in fields like immunology and tumour biology, say researchers.

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Computational biologists have developed a new bioinformatics method to better study communication between cells. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Researchers used the method to study Kupffer cells, a macrophage in the liver blood stream. They generated a lot of gene expression data of all cells involved.

“But, using this type of data to unravel how a cell communicates is not a trivial task”, said Saeys. “We needed to develop a new sophisticated algorithm to tackle this problem”.

Researchers were able to experimentally validate some of the signals that NicheNet predicted.

“Thanks to NicheNet, we looked into factors that we would not have thought about ourselves”, confirms Martin Guilliams from VIB-Ghent University, who works in close collaboration with the Saeys lab.

“For us, NicheNet was an essential tool to help unravel the Kupffer cell niche”.

In addition to the Kupffer cell story, the team has also been applying NicheNet to investigate cell-cell communication in the tumour microenvironment.

Also Read- Investors in Vietnam to be More Cautious With Investing in Tech Startups

“We used NicheNet on single-cell data that was published earlier, but we are now working on novel single-cell datasets generated by collaborating research groups,” said Saeys in a paper published in the journals Nature Methods and Immunity.

An example of a process in which intercellular communication is essential, is the differentiation of macrophages, a type of immune cell. This process is affected by other cell types in the environment, or “niche”, of the macrophage. (IANS)