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CLEAR.

CLOSED LOOP ENGINEERING for ADVANCED REHABILITATION
Research Emphases

Research Emphases

CLEAR

Closed-Loop Engineering for Advanced Rehabilitation

MECHANICS

Closing-the-loop between  Wearable Technology and Biology to optimize tissue/organ function.

CONTROL & LEARNING

Merging human intelligence and artificial intelligence to achieve environment adaptation, optimal task performance, and safety

USER PERCEPTION

Integrate human perception and cognition into human-machine system and control

Faculty

CLEAR Research Community

Josh Alexander, MD

Josh Alexander, MD

Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

John Baratta, MD, MBA

John Baratta, MD, MBA

Clinical Assistant Professor Medical Director, Stroke Rehabilitation

Troy Blackburn, Ph.D.

Troy Blackburn, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor, Exercise and Sport Science Associate Director, MOTION Science Institute

Alper Bozkurt, Ph.D.

Alper Bozkurt, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Co-Director of ASSIST Center

Jessica Cassidy, PT, DPT, PhD

Jessica Cassidy, PT, DPT, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy

Karen Chen, Ph.D.

Karen Chen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Jacque Cole Ph.D.

Jacque Cole Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Jing Feng, Ph.D.

Jing Feng, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Scott Ferguson, Ph.D.

Scott Ferguson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

William Filer, MD

William Filer, MD

Associate Professor, Director of Residency Program

Matt Fisher, Ph.D.

Matt Fisher, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Jason Franz, Ph.D.

Jason Franz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Henry Fuchs, Ph.D.

Henry Fuchs, Ph.D.

Federico Gil Distinguished Professor, Department of Computer Science

Debby Givens, PT, DPT, PhD

Debby Givens, PT, DPT, PhD

Director and Professor Division of Physical Therapy Department of Allied Health Sciences UNC-CH

Helen Huang, Ph.D.

Helen Huang, Ph.D.

Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Derek Kamper, Ph.D.

Derek Kamper, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Mike Lewek, Ph.D.

Mike Lewek, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Division of Physical Therapy Department of Health Sciences

Ming Liu, Ph.D.

Ming Liu, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

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Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, NCS

Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, NCS

Professor Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy Division of Physical Therapy Department of Allied Health Sciences

Vicki Mercer, PT, Ph.D.

Vicki Mercer, PT, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Director, Human Movement Science PhD Program Division of Physical Therapy Department of Allied Health Sciences UNC-CH

Blaise Morrison, PhD, CRC, PC

Blaise Morrison, PhD, CRC, PC

Assistant Professor, Division of Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

Zeljko Pantic, Ph.D.

Zeljko Pantic, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Brian Pietrosimone, PhD, ATC

Brian Pietrosimone, PhD, ATC

Associate Professor – Athletic Training and Director of MOTION Science Institute

Nitin Sharma, Ph.D.

Nitin Sharma, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Neuromuscular Control & Robotics

Kate

Kate

Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Jonathan Stallrich, Ph.D.

Jonathan Stallrich, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, NCSU Department of Statistics

Louise Thoma, PT, DPT, PhD

Louise Thoma, PT, DPT, PhD

Assistant Professor. Division of Physical Therapy Department of Allied Health Sciences

Erik Wikstrom, PhD, ATC, LAT

Erik Wikstrom, PhD, ATC, LAT

Assistant Professor, Athletic Training Katherine Smith Gunter Fellow Co-Director, Sport Medicine Research Laboratory Department of Exercise and Sport Science UNC-CH

Amol Yadav, Ph.D.

Amol Yadav, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

News

Latest News & Research Videos

Pink Gradient

Two CLEAR Members inducted into AIMBE College of Fellows

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LIMB_prosthesis
LIMB_prosthesis

LIMB_prosthesis

00:58
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Validation of a Computer-Based Psychomotor Study

Validation of a Computer-Based Psychomotor Study

03:40
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UL PR Demo_compressed

UL PR Demo_compressed

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NSF Prosthetic Science Now story

NSF Prosthetic Science Now story

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Upcoming Seminars

Coulter Seminars
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Aaron Young, PhD

Associate Professor

Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology

February 2, 2024

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David Cunningham, PhD

April 5, 2024

Assistant Professor

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Additional Rehab Related Seminars, Talks & Meetings

Rehab Labs Research Meetings

When: 1st Fri­day of the Month from 9:30am — 10:30am
Dates: See cal­en­dar 
Loca­tions: Engi­neer­ing Build­ing III, Room 4142 & Mary Ellen Jones, Room 9010A

 

About: The sem­i­nar series serves as an oppor­tu­nity for stu­dents to present research progress and obtain feed­back from fac­ulty and their peers. For faculty/ postdocs, the meet­ings serve as a plat­form to share grant sub­mis­sion ideas and solicit feedback.

Recent Presenters

Contact
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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

May 3, 2024

 

Deanna Gates PhD; Associate Professor of Movement Science at the University of Michigan

Topic: Improving Mobility and Balance Through Novel Approaches to Prosthetic Design and Control

Dr. Gates' talk focused on several of her recent and ongoing projects exploring the role of the prosthetic socket and residual musculature on mobility and falls in people with transfemoral amputation.  She also highlighted her recent work in providing volitional control of prostheses and providing sensory feedback through regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces (RPNIs). 

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

April 5, 2024

 

James Cotton, MD, PhD; Physician-Scientist at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab and Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University

Topic: AI Powered Movement Analysis, Big Rehabilitation Data and a Path to Precision Rehabilitation

Dr. Cotton's talk discussed multiple methodological lines of work making movement and gait analysis more clinically accessible and biomechanically grounded. This includes reconstruction from synchronized multiview videos, smartphone videos, and wearable sensors. He also discussed how implicit functions provide a powerful representation to map from time to joint angles, and GPU accelerated methods that enable end-to-end biomechanical fits from these different modalities.  

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

February 2, 2024

 

Eran Dayan, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Department of Radiology,

Biomedical Research Imaging Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Topic: Measures of Resilience in the Healthy and Diseased Brain

Dr. Dayan described recent work from his lab, where they developed methods for quantifying resilience in the healthy and
diseased brain. Implications for neurorehabilitation were also be discussed.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

December 1, 2023

 

Daniel Roque, M.D.; Associate Professor, Vice Chair for Ambulatory Affairs, UNC Neurology, and Director, UNC Movement Disorders Neuromodulation Program

Topic: Advancing the Success of Management for Tremor Disorders: Lessons Learned and Future Opportunities

Dr. Roque presented his research and active collaborations as well as review potential opportunities where biomedical engineering innovations may offer meaningful relief for millions of patients across the United States alone.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

November 3, 2023

 

Miriam Rafferty, Ph.D.; Director of Implementation Science and a Research Scientist at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine

Topic: Connecting Engineering to Clinical Implementation: Designing for AcceleRated Translation of Rehabilitation Technology

Dr. Rafferty's talk presented examples of how to accomplish three key actions: (1) utilizing meaningful clinical and community partnerships, (2) designing innovations for dissemination and implementation using human-centered design, and (3) collaboration between researchers and clinicians in learning health systems, and the factors she had found to be most influential related to the initial pace of uptake, implementation, and scalability of rehabilitation technology.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

June 2, 2023

 

Peter Shull, Ph.D., Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Topic: Wearable Systems for Biomedical Applications and Human Computer Interaction

Dr. Shull's talk presented an overview of various research topics related to wearable systems including wrist-worn hand gesture recognition, wearable gait and posture assessment and training, soft wearable haptics, and cellphone AR rehabilitation.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

March 10, 2023

 

He (Helen) Huang, Ph.D., Jackson Family Distinguished Professor in the joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Topic: Neural Engineering in Motor Rehabilitation

Dr. Huang's talk focused on her sabbatical leave in the spring of 2022, and she discussed several interesting research projects that she observed and potential collaborations that can be built between CLEAR and these colleagues in neural engineering in the future. 

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

February 03, 2023

 

Dr. Joachim Hermsdörfer, Professor, Technical University of Munich

Topic: Grip force control in healthy persons and patients with brain damage

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

December 02, 2022

 

Dr. Katie Poggensee, Postdoctoral Researcher at T.U. Delft

Topic: Altering balance with a lightweight gyroscopic robotic actuator

Dr. Poggensee's talk described a wearable robotic backpack designed to assist (or perturb) balance. Prior versions of the device have improved standing and walking balance in healthy and post-stroke populations, intentionally perturbed the trunk during standing, and altered swing leg kinematics during walking. The newest iteration has greater functionality, in a smaller form-factor, enabling more complex conditions (e.g., assisting balance across multiple axes) and facilitating use among patient populations. She discussed the results from the previous version as well as future experiments and other uses for this novel actuator.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

November 04, 2022

 

Dr. Yasin Dhaher, Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation | Orthopaedic Surgery, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Topic: Exploring the modulatory effect of spinal track activation on afferent mediated changes in motoneuron excitability in humans

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

October 07, 2022

 

Dr. James Finley, Associate Professor, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California

Topic: Learning to Take Advantage of Assistance + ReproRehab

Dr. Finley's talk described his recent work on how people learn to acquire and accept assistance when adapting to walking on a split-belt treadmill. Understanding the strategies people use to modify their gait and the timescales over which this learning occurs is critical for designing effective algorithms that can provide assistance while adapting to changes in the user’s behavior.

Dr. Finley also described ongoing work with the ReproRehab Program. Through this program, his team provides training resources to help rehabilitation researchers develop the data science skills necessary to improve the reproducibility and replicability of their research. He also gave an overview of the ReproRehab curriculum, demonstrated a simple example of a reproducible analysis pipeline, and provided information for anyone interested in joining his next cohort of learners or teaching assistants. 

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

September 02, 2022

 

Dr. Philipp Gulde, Chair of Human Movement Science, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Topic: Everyday Life in Numbers - From Lab to World

Dr. Gulde's talk introduced the clinical value of kinematic assessments, how validity can benefit from measuring outside the lab, why it is worth a try to go beyond energy expenditure, and the potential of wearables to go beyond energy expenditure by kinematic analyses outside the lab.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

June 03, 2022

 

Dr. Sang Wook Lee​, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Catholic University of America

Topic: Impaired Motor Control of Bimanual Action Following Stroke: Understanding Learned Nonuse

Dr. Lee's talk  presented results from a series of studies that examined functional deficits of stroke survivors affecting their arm choice and bimanual action, which could help us better understand the learned nonuse phenomenon.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

May 06, 2022

 

Dr. Amy N. Adkins​, Assistant Teaching Professor, Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNC Chapel Hill & NC State University

Topic: Validation and Implementation of Multiscale Imaging Techniques for Quantifying Muscle Function and Plasticity

Dr. Adkin's talk  established confidence in the ability to reliably quantify multiscale in vivo muscle structure (from the sarcomere scale to whole muscle) using minimally invasive imaging techniques and demonstrate the extent to which current approaches can detect structural adaptation in human muscle.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

April 01, 2022

 

Dr. Roger Cornwall,

  • Clinical Director, Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics 

  • Director, Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship

  • Professor, UC Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Topic: Shifting the Paradigm of Neuromuscular Contractures: A Little Medicine to Prevent a Lot of Surgery

Dr. Cornwall's talk told the story of how a clinical problem encountered during the surgical treatment of contractures following brachial plexus birth injury led to basic biological discoveries reshaping our understanding and potentially our treatment of neuromuscular contractures.

Legal Research and Writing
Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

March 04, 2022

 

Student Presentations:

  • Chelsea "CJ" Parker (Dr. Lewek's Lab), Subtle Variations in Metronome Cues can Alter Gait Without Conscious Awareness to Promote Implicit Learning

  • Emily Eichenlaub (Dr. Franz's Lab), The Neuromechanics of Anticipated and Unanticipated Balance Perturbations During Standing and Walking

  • Morgan Dalman (Dr. Saul's Lab), Computational Modeling of Glenohumeral Contact and Translation

  • Miranda Ludovice (Dr. Kamper's Lab), The Impact of Finger Length and Posture on Muscle Activation Patterns Using OpenSim

  • Wentao Liu (Dr. Huang's Lab), Inferring Human-Robot Performance Objectives during Locomotion using Inverse Reinforcement Learning

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

Febuary 04, 2022

 

Presenters: Gedas Bertasius, Henry Fuchs, Daniel Szafir, and Danielle Szafir

UNC Dept of Computer Science

Topic: The group discussed their own research and a new joint project, Augmented Reality Neurorehabilitation for Monitoring and Management of Motor Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, which they have started with collaborators Professors Michael Lewek (Physical Therapy) and Nina Browner (Neurology). Topics of discussion included computer vision, egocentric motion tracking, virtual and augmented reality, human-robot interaction, and data visualization.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

December 03, 2021

 

Dr. Karen Boru Chen, Assistant Professor, Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, NC State University

Topic: Interfacing with virtual environments through bio-signals and bodily motions – integration and application

Dr. Chen's talk presented information about the integration and application of bio-signals and bodily motions to interface with VR.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

October 01, 2021

 

Dr. Pedro Lopes, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Chicago

Topic: Integrating Interactive Devices With the User’s Body

Dr. Lopes discussed his work on bodily-integrated devices, which he believes are the natural succession to wearable interfaces and allow us to investigate how interfaces might connect to our bodies in a more direct and personal way.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

September 03, 2021

 

Dr. Rinku Roy, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Topic: Prediction of Fingertip force and Joint Kinematics of Individual Fingers using Motoneuron Firing Activities

Dr. Roy discussed her use of the Neural-drive approach with advanced assistive robotic hands that can help individuals with hand impairment perform daily activities.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

May 07, 2021

 

Dr. Amay Bandodkar, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NC State University

Topic: Unconventional biochemical sensors and energy devices for applications in wearables and neuro-engineering

Dr. Bandodkar's research interests include working at the interface of electronics, materials science, and biology to realize next-generation conformal sensors and energy devices with broad applications in wearables, implants, and distributed systems.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

April 02, 2021

 

Dr. Hoon Kim, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Topic: Decoding neuromuscular features in ankle muscles: Wavelet transformed EMG signals

Dr. Kim's work examines mobility in older adults and he uses musculoskeletal simulations to understand how gait changes as humans age. Dr. Kim is a Postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Jason Franz's laboratory.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

March 05, 2021

 

Dr. Helen Huang, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineerinig, University of Central Florida

Topic: Advancing multimodal neuromechanics and understanding of locomotor adaptation

Dr. Huang presented her team’s research on advancing sensor development and methods for using high-density electroencephalography (EEG) to study brain dynamics in multimodal neuromechanics experiments of human locomotion and locomotor adaptation. She also discussed recent findings on brain responses to perturbations during a seated locomotor task and gait stability responses to small perturbations applied on a stride-by-stride basis during walking.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

Feb 05, 2021

 

Dr. Karl Newell, Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia

Dr. Newell's presentation focused on the learning of new patterns of coordination in human movement.  This a property of skill acquisition that has been underplayed in the traditions of motor learning due to the selection of so-called ‘simple’ low degrees of freedom (DF) tasks or those tasks where the individual can already produce the qualitative properties of the coordination pattern.  The role of order parameters/collective variables from a dynamic systems framework is considered as essential to the early formative stage of skill acquisition.  Theoretical, experimental and practical implications and challenges of this approach to the learning of movement forms will be discussed.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

Dec 04, 2020

 

Dr. Varun Nalam (Postdoc Fellow, Mentor: Helen Huang)

 

Dr. Nalam's presentation discussed understanding how humans modulate their ankle behavior during various tasks could aid in advancement of assistive and rehabilitative care of people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. The research presented in this talk focuses on quantifying ankle impedance modulation during balance and walking in different environments and its implications in development of patient specific rehabilitation protocols for people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and Stroke.

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Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

Nov 13, 2020

 

Topic: Rehabilitation Research and Engineering Center:  Collaborative Machines Enhancing Therapies (COMET)

 

Speakers: Dr. Ferdinando Mussa-Ivaldi (Northwestern U/ Shirley Ryan AbilityLab)

     Body-Machine Interface: Recovering muscle control

Dr. Heike Vallery (TU Delft)

     GyroBalance: Adaptive wearable balance trainer

Dr. Arun Jayaraman (Shirley Ryan AbilityLab/ Northwestern U)

      Soft Exosuit: Variable collaborative assistance for functional 

      gait recovery in stroke

Dr. James Patton (University of Illinois at Chicago/ Shirley Ryan AbilityLab)

     Augmentation Exoskeletons: Smart passive devices for arm

     function recovery

Dr. David Reinkensmeyer (University of California, Irvine)

     Wearable Sensing: Custom feedback for encouraging

     movement practice

Past Presenters

Oct 02, 2020

Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

Dr. Blaise Morrison, Assistant Professor, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

Dr. Morrison's  presentation highlighted the need for family-system interventions that target psychosocial adjustment and community participation after brain injury. Dr. Morrison also provided an overview of his research program and intervention development plan.

Sep 04, 2020

Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

Dr. Quentin Sanders (ARRT Postdoc Fellow, Mentor: Derek Kamper)

Dr. Sanders discussed how to optimize the usage of wearable robotic technologies for hand rehabilitation after stroke and demonstrated the progress being made by considering three key areas: usership patterns of wearable hand sensing technology in real-world settings, sensory and motor control of the hand after stroke, and the mechanical design and intuitive control of wearable soft robotic technologies for the hand.

Sep 04, 2020

Joint Rehab/Regen Monthly Meeting

Emily McCain (Graduate Student, Adviser: Kate Saul)

Emily McCain discussed her ASB presentation: Using a custom 3d printed ankle stay and a lockable DonJoy knee brace this research imposed unilateral, joint-specific restrictions in range of motion (ROM) to provide insight into what gait adaptations are solely the result of isolated joint deficits and which are the result of simultaneous multi-joint impairments. This framework allowed us to separate the relative impact of ankle versus knee restriction and understand their interaction on mechanical compensations and the resultant energetic penalties during walking. We hope our results can help optimize future designs of rehabilitative techniques and technology by providing insight into trade-offs of intervening at one lower-limb joint versus another.