View Full Version : PhD: Integrated Voluntary Control of Paraplegic Standing

11-04-2002, 09:23 PM
One PhD scholarship is available at the Centre for Rehabilitation
Engineering, University of Glasgow, UK, for research on integrated
voluntary control of unsupported paraplegic standing. The duration of
the scholarship is 3 years.

This project is aimed at research into control systems for restoration
of stable unsupported standing in people with impaired balance, and
particularly those with a spinal cord injury (SCI). For several
reasons, standing therapy is a highly important aspect of
rehabilitation. The scientific basis of the work is the challenge to
develop an integrated control approach in which artificial controllers
of the paralysed lower limbs act in concert with the voluntary
postural control actions of the upper body. We will investigate
high-level strategies for integrating these two parts of the posture
stabilisation system. We will also investigate the significance of
higher-order components in natural ankle control during standing, and
seek to use the results to inform the design process for our
artificial ankle controllers. An experimental study will be carried
out with intact and paraplegic human subjects using an instrumented
standing apparatus, the Multi- purpose Rehabilitation Frame (MRF). New
postural control strategies will be implemented in two ways: using the
MRF's hydraulic actuators; and using functional electrical stimulation
(FES) of the ankle-actuating muscles in paraplegic subjects.
Involvement of the SCI population will be through collaboration with
clinicians at the Scottish National Spinal Injuries Unit. Finally,
application of the new methods to balance re-training in the stroke
population will be assessed through collaboration with the Slovenian
Rehabilitation Institute.

Candidates should have a sound background in feedback control systems
or in the neurophysiology of posture control. Experience with control
design and analysis using Matlab/ Simulink and with C/C++ programming
would be beneficial.

Further information can be found on our website at
http://fesnet.eng.gla.ac.uk/CRE/. Applications to Professor Ken Hunt
(k.hunt@mech.gla.ac.uk) or Dr. Henrik Gollee
(h.gollee@mech.gla.ac.uk), Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK.

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