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  • CAMARN CEC project: call for researchers

    Dear BIOMCH-L subscriber,

    This is a call for European researchers interested
    in a CEC initiative within the CAMARN project.


    The acronym CAMARN stands for: Computer Aided
    Movement Analysis Research Network. This is a
    project funded by the Commission of the European
    Communities within the Human Capital and Mobility
    programme adopted by the Council of Ministers of
    the European Communities (CEC DG XII).

    It is running from January 1994 and will end on
    December 1996.


    The aim of the CAMARN project is the creation of
    a network of Movement Analysis (MA) laboratories
    able to educate a number of young researchers in
    the field of Functional Evaluation of the motor
    disabled and the elderly.
    The final expected results from the project consist
    in the availability of a relatively large number of
    new researchers that will be well aware of the
    potentialities of the concerted and standardised MA
    , thus contributing to improve the efficiency and
    efficacy of Health Care in Rehabilitation through the
    application of the most recent technological
    resources in the field of functional evaluation of
    motor disabled and elderly.
    Accordingly, the objectives of CAMARN refer to
    research training in number of fields relevant to
    MA such as:
    - Digital Signal Processing: for data acquisition
    and elaboration;
    - Computer Science: for friendly interfaces
    towards various kinds of users, data base
    management and interrogation, computer
    networks, artificial intelligence applications such
    as knowledge acquisition and formalization and
    expert systems;
    - Measurement systems: for classical MA
    experiments in laboratory, for Long Term
    Monitoring, for monitoring the Activities of Daily
    Living and for the development of new
    instrumentation for MA
    - Clinical evaluation (by means of concerted
    protocols and standardised methods).


    The laboratories that participate in the CAMARN
    network can be characterized in the following

    - Clinical (mainly) laboratories:
    - Roessingh Research and Development,
    Enschede, The Netherlands (Dr. H. Hermens)
    - Department of Physiotherapy, University College,
    Dublin, Ireland (Dr. M. Garrett)

    - Technical (mainly) laboratories:
    - Department of Electronics and Automatics,
    University of Ancona, Italy (Prof. T. Leo)
    - Laboratory of Biomedical Kinanthropology,
    Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium (Prof. A.
    - Department of Medical Informatics and Image
    Analysis, University of Aalborg, Denmark (Prof. T.
    - Institute for Biomechanics, German Sports
    University, Koln, Germany (Prof. W. Baumann)

    - Technical and Clinical laboratories:
    - Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde,
    Glasgow, UK (Prof. J.P. Paul)
    - INSERM Unite 103, Montpellier, France (Prof. P.


    Researchers who can receive a financial
    contribution from CAMARN are post-doc or post-
    graduate researchers from any Country belonging
    to the European Union.
    The researchers who take part to the project will
    have the opportunity to work in an already existing
    european scientific community sensitive to the
    themes of standardisation of methods and
    concertartion of protocols for facing the many, and
    still open problems of Motor Rehabilitation.
    >From the viewpoint of the training methods, all the
    laboratories involved in the network for practical
    and theoretical co-operation, have expertise both in
    the engineering field and in clinical application. In
    this manner, a researcher visiting one of these
    laboratories for a suitable period of time (at least
    three months) can develop both technical and
    clinical related competence, and moreover can be
    supported by the already experienced concertation
    among all the participating laboratories.


    In the following, a list of possible research themes
    available at the various laboratories is appended.
    Post-doc or post-graduate researchers interested
    in a theme among those reported in the above
    cited list can contact the responsible person of the
    specific laboratory.
    The responsible of each CAMARN laboratory has
    provided the description of the research themes
    relevant for his/her research group.

    Here is the list of addresses of the various contact

    Prof. Tommaso LEO: Universita' di Ancona,
    Dipartimento di Elettronica ed Automatica, via
    Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona - Italy, Tel: +39
    71 2204842 Fax: +39 71 2804334

    Dr. Mary GARRETT: University College Dublin,
    School of Physiotherapy, Movement Analysis
    Laboratory, Mater Hospital, Eccles Street,
    Dublin 7, Ireland, Tel: +353 1 8304533, Fax:
    +353 1 8303550

    Dr. Hermanus J. HERMENS: Rehabilitation Centre
    "Het Roessingh", Roessingh Research and
    Development, Laboratorium B.V., P.O. Box 310,
    7500 Enschede, Netherlands, Tel: +31 53
    875875 Fax: +31 53 340849

    Prof. Arthur SPAEPEN: Katholieke Universiteit
    Leuven, Instituut voor Lichamelijcke Opleiding,
    Lab. for Occupational Biomechanics,
    Tervuursevest 101, 3001 Leuven (Heverlee)
    Belgium, Tel: +32 16 201431 Fax: +32 16

    Prof. Thomas SINKJAER: Aalborg
    Universitetscenter, Dept. of Medical Informatics
    and Image Analysis, Inst. of Electronic Systems,
    Fr. Bajers N-Vej 7D, 9220 Aalborg East,
    Denmark, Tel: +45 98 158522, Fax: +45 98

    Prof. Wolfgang BAUMANN: Deutsche
    Sporthochschule Koln, Institut fuer
    Biomechanik, Carl-Diem-Weg 6, 50933 Koeln,
    Germany, Tel: +49 221 4982565, Fax: +49 221

    Prof. John P. PAUL: University of Strathclyde,
    Bioengineering Unit, Rottenrow 106, G4 ONW
    Glasgow, United Kingdom, Tel: +44 141
    5524400, Fax: +44 141 5526098

    Prof. Pierre RABISCHONG: INSERM Unite' 103
    Appareil Moteur et Handicap, Avenue des
    Moulins 395, 34090 Montpellier, France, Tel:
    +33 67 632748, Fax: +33 67 542729


    Each researcher under training will be involved in
    the production of a usable tool (hardware, software
    or protocol) within the host laboratory. In general,
    all these activities will be submitted to peer review
    through submissions to relevant scientific journals
    and/or scientific congresses. Moreover, during the
    course of the project, a workshop will be organized
    each year to allow mutual assessment of the work.

    I hope that this initiative will encourage numbers of
    Movement Analysis students to ask for further
    information and apply for a specific research
    theme. Due to funds limitation only a limited and
    selected number will have the opportunity to be
    hosted in a CAMARN laboratory.

    Tommaso Leo
    CAMARN Project coordinator


    This list is the collection of the research themes
    that each responsible of CAMARN laboratory has
    given for his/her own lab.

    Ancona University, Ancona, Italy
    1) Movement Analysis Methods and Techniques
    1.1) Signal processing
    1.2) Assessment of reliability of Measurement
    1.3) Biomechanical modelling
    2) User Friendly Interfaces
    2.1) Biosignal representation and interpretation
    2.2) Integration of different information
    3) Motor Control Understanding
    3.1) Experimental protocols for motor control
    3.2) Modelling and Identification methods and
    The laboratory has the following equipment:
    - Actually, one Costel stereometric system; in the
    near future, two stereometric units will be
    - 2 Bertec force platforms
    - 1 triangular extensimetric platform
    - 1 four-channel surface EMG system (by DEM -
    Leini' - Torino)
    - 1 Panasonic video camera connected to a 486 PC
    by a Smart Video Recorder card
    - Four 486 PCs: two PC's are connected to
    - HP 712/80 workstation connected to Internet. It is
    one of the CAMARC-II servers

    INSERM U103, Montpellier, France
    1) Ambulatory analysis of dailylife activity
    1.1) tasks feature extraction
    1.2) tasks recognition (from Neural Net Based
    Classification systems)
    2) Characterisation of Hemiplegic Motor
    2.1) implementation of kinematic and kinetic
    analysis methods
    2.2) definition of relevant parameters
    3) Design and implementation of new gait
    assessment Hardware and Software tools

    University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
    1) Specification of phases of functional electrical
    stimulation (FES) applied to leg and trunk
    muscles of paraplegic patients to allow walking in
    association with a novel reciprocating gait
    orthosis. This project will involve the use of a
    movement analysis system in association with
    goniometers and force transducers.
    2) Determination of the load actions transmitted by
    leg prostheses of modern "energy storing"
    design. The data is required for formulation of
    International and European Standards for testing
    of leg prostheses. The project will involve data
    acquisition by a VICON movement analysis
    system and 3 Kistler force platforms in
    association with a six quantity load transducer
    incorporated in the structure of the prosthesis.
    3) Analysis of the inter-segment load actions
    developed in the leg of normal subjects while
    undertaking walking in circular arcs and also in
    side stepping while carrying loads. Data will be
    acquired using VICON motion analysis
    equipment and Kistler force platforms. The
    effects of the gravity and inertial load actions on
    leg segments will be assessed.
    The unit has the following equipment:
    - 6 camera Vicon MA system
    - 3 Kistler force platforms
    - custom made force and moment transducers for
    prosthetic and orthotic load measurements
    - EMG, ambulatory monitoring, and metabolic
    energy measurement equipment.

    University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
    The overall objective of research being carried out
    in the UCD school of Physiotherapy is the
    improvement of rehabilitation services offered to
    the motor disabled and other types of patients.
    Research is being carried out in six different areas.
    1) Gait analysis and the study of reflex control of
    walking in both normal people and people following
    a cerebro-vascular accident.
    2) The development of objective measures of motor
    handicap which may be of prognostic value in the
    stroke patient.
    3) Cardiorespiratory endurance and isokinetic
    muscle strength testing in growth hormone and
    other patients.
    4) The development of a Functional Walking
    Handicap Scale.
    5) The value of Physiotherapy in the diabetic foot.
    6) A study of factors which influence mobility in
    increasing age, with a view to developing a Mobility
    Prevision Scale.

    The aforementioned research is being conducted in
    conjunction with the consultants in the Mather
    Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Items 1, 2, 4 and 6
    provide contribution to the EC AIM Project
    The Electronic Engineering Department in UCD
    works in conjunction with the National Medical
    Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire, County
    Dublin, in the development of functional electrical
    stimulation systems with a view to improving the
    rehabilitation of a motor disabled.

    Roessingh Research and Development,
    Enschede, The Netherlands
    1) Reliability of body segment rotation kinematics
    2) Assessment of efficiency of gait using
    3) Selectivity of different EMG electrode
    configurations, cross-talk
    4) Inter rater reliability EAEP's
    5) Separation of co-contraction and co-spasticity
    6) Maximum number of strides for EAEP's
    7) Error analysis of video ground reaction

    Institute for Biomechanics, German Sports
    University, Koln, Germany

    1) Movement analysis
    Data acquisition and processing
    Modeling of lower extremity
    Determination of internal loads

    Math. Optimisation procedures
    Kistler force platforms
    Selspot II - system

    2) Analysis of balancing (regulation of equilibrium)
    Improvement of measuring/testing devices
    Analysis of sport-specific motor activities
    Identification of talents

    Kistler force platforms
    Selspot II - system
    Fscan - system (in-shoe pressure distribution).

    3) Physiological and patological interactions of foot
    and shoe
    Standards of pressure distribution in different
    Material tests of shoe material
    Complex shoe tests
    Biomechanics of the diabetic foot

    Pneumatic impacters
    Complex movement analysis (Kistler and

    Dept. Biomedical Kinantropology, Katholieke
    Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

    The laboratory of ergonomics at the Faculty of
    Physical Education and Physiotherapy is
    characterized by a multidisciplinary approach
    towards the development and application of 3D-
    movement analysis systems, Force Plate and
    (surface) EMG. In this respect, the interest in
    technical specifications of the equipment and
    device development is combined with the
    application of these techniques in the field of
    ergonomics and in the clinical context.

    The laboratory is equipped with:
    - 1 Kinemetrix system (automatic stereometric data
    acquisition system)
    - Video-systems for tape recording and
    measurement off-line
    - 1 Bertec Force Platform
    - Several sets of 8 channel EMG amplifiers (direct
    and telemetry systems), commercially available
    or self developed
    - Ergodyn device for computer aided isokinetic
    analysis of joint function
    - Eye Gaze system
    - Computer facilities: NOVEL network with 20 PC, 1
    Sun Workstation

    A brief description of different research projects
    each of them using one or more of the above
    mentioned registration techniques:
    1. One of the research projects is involved in
    occupational biomechanics analysis, in which
    overload risks from repetitive strain injuries and
    load on back are studied, using 3D movement
    registration in combination with force and EMG
    registration. In this respect, the influence of
    muscle fatigue on EMG charachteristics during
    submaximal contractions is studied extensively.
    2. The mechanical efficiency of wheelchair
    propulsion is studied by the integrated study of
    EMG characteristics of upper limb muscles,
    movement analysis and physiological parameters
    during exercise. The results of this fundamental
    study will be used in the evaluation of wheelchair
    3. Integrated 3D-movement analysis systems,
    telemetric EMG and force platform are used in
    studies of therapeutic management in clinical
    groups. At present the influence of therapeutic
    bandaging on walking performance on the stroke
    patient is studied. Also a protocol for the
    evaluation of orthotic devices in Stroke Patients
    is under development. In MS-patients, the
    influence of electrostimulation on lower limb
    spasticity is studied.
    4. From the experience in the above mentioned
    areas of research the need for multimedia
    presentation of the movement analysis results
    was expressed. Therefore, in cooperation with a
    German company, our laboratory is exploring the
    present possibilities for combined and
    synchronized display of movement analysis
    results and video images.
    5. Within the european project RACE, alternative
    communication for severely handicapped
    persons are studied. The application of trackball
    and eye-gaze for alternative communication
    within a multimedia context is studied in control
    and handicapped subjects.
    6. The study of Force Plate characteristics is part of
    ongoing studies. For this reason a calibration
    stand was developed for static calibration. In the
    future the issue of dynamic calibration will be
    7. Also, the study of the relation between surface
    EMG and force production in healthy persons
    and stroke patients, is studied. A computer
    model describing the electomechanical
    functioning of the skeletal muscle is under
    development. Also the use of neural network
    techniques in the study of the relation Force-
    EMG is evaluated.
    8. In cooperation with the engineering department
    (ESAT-MICAS) a new telemetric EMG devices is
    under developmentusing a bidirectional
    telemetric link based on radiowave transmission.

    Dept. of Medical Informatics and Image
    University of Aalborg, Denmark

    1) Development of a multichannel nerve recording
    2) Analysis of Electro-Neuro-Gram (ENG) signals
    to provide information about friction between
    glabrous skin and surfaces of different textures
    3) Development of Advanced Techniques to
    provide sensory feedback from artificial limbs

    Project 1: Development of a multichannel nerve
    recording cuff
    While nerve recording cuffs have been
    demonstrated to provide safe, reliable signals from
    sensory nerves, a drawback is that there is poor
    specificity regarding the physical location of the
    events that evoked the recorded activity.
    For example, when activity is recorded from a
    digital cutaneous nerve, it is not apparent from
    which area of the finger the activity arose, as this
    could have been anywhere within the innervation
    territory of that nerve distal to the cuff placement.
    An improvement would result if separate fascicles
    within a multifascicle nerve could be recorded from
    independently, since the innervation territories of
    the separate fascicles would each be smaller in
    area than for the composite nerve.

    A multichannel nerve cuff will be placed on the
    sciatic nerve in in an anesthetized rabbit or other
    suitable animal. Separate stimulating cuff
    electrodes or hook electrodes will be applied to at
    least three nerves of the hindlimb that contribute to
    the sciatic nerve. For example, these could be the
    tibial nerve, peroneal nerve and sural nerve. Each
    of these peripheral nerves will be stimulated
    individually, and the evoked responses separately
    recorded and compared from each channel of the
    multichannel recording cuff. A selectivity index will
    need to be developed to allow the performance of
    various cuff geometries and electrode
    configurations to be assessed. A cuff design that
    would be particularly useful for these experiments
    would be fashioned using thin film deposition of
    noble metals on a flexible and biocompatible
    substrate. A technique to mark the orientation of
    the cuff relative to the underlying nerve fascicles
    will need to be specified or developed so that
    histological verification of the relative positions of
    the electrode elements and the identified fascicles
    can be performed.

    The experiments may be carried over to additional
    larger nerves in the pig if desired. Also, chronic
    studies in the rabbit may be useful to determine the
    stability of the interface. The studies could be
    expanded to include modeling of the recording

    Project 2: Analysis of ENG signals to provide
    information about friction between glabrous skin
    and surfaces of different textures

    Closed loop control algorithms can improve the
    performance of Neuroprostheses to restore hand
    grasp in individuals with spinal injury. Slippage
    signals are readily obtained from ENG recorded
    from cutaneous nerves. It would be useful to
    incorporate adjustments to surface friction into the
    control algorithms if such information could be

    Data will be provided from nerve recordings in
    human subjects when surfaces of different texture
    and friction are grasped and slid over the skin.
    Advanced analysis techniques such as the use of
    neural networks may be useful.

    After determining if information about friction can
    be obtained, algorithms to transduce the
    information from ENG in real time may be
    developed and tested in an individual who is using
    a hand grasp neuroprostheses under closed loop
    control. Aspects of the closed loop controller will be
    furnished by collaborating investigators.

    Project 3: Development of Advanced Techniques to
    provide sensory feedback from artificial limbs

    A present obstacle to providing more function to
    the users of artificial limbs is the lack of sensory
    feedback from these devices. Prior reports from
    laboratory based studies in this area have
    demonstrated that even rudimentary information
    such as object-finger contact and grasp force
    magnitude in the case of myoelectric arms for
    example, can increase the user acceptance of the
    prosthesis. Previous approaches have involved
    using electrocutaneous feedback or the application
    of electrical stimulation to sensory nerve trunks, but
    these have precluded the ability to target the
    stimulation to specific identified sensory afferent
    nerve fibers. As a result, the evoked percepts fail to
    be discretely localized and do not have modality
    specific qualities. These deficiences can be
    overcome by applying microstimulation to the
    sensory nerves. Using microstimulation,
    investigators have demonstrated that discrete
    modalities of tactile sensations such as light touch,
    sustained pressure, tickle and vibration can be

    A multichannel nerve interface is to be developed
    that will provide for microstimulation of discrete
    sensory afferents. An electrode array
    micromachined from silicon will be evaluated in an
    animal model of an amputated sensory nerve.
    Electrophysiological, behavioral and histological
    techniques will be used to demonstrate the efficacy
    of the interface over several months post
    implantation. When a suitable inteface is identified,
    it will be implanted into a volunteer upper extremity
    amputee subject. Psychophysical testing will be
    performed to develop suitable coding algorithms
    which can be used to reproduce or communicate
    tactile events that mimic natural "feeling"

    This project is multifaceted. Students are sought
    who have interests in one or more of the following
    areas: electrophysiology of nerves; psychophysics;
    man-machine interface and instrumentation
    regarding the application of force and other
    sensors to a commercial myoelectric hand; the
    development of a nerve interface; computer
    software development to support this project; and
    neuroprostheses in general.