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PhD position - Institut of Myology Paris - Exoskeletons in patients with neuromuscular disorders

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  • PhD position - Institut of Myology Paris - Exoskeletons in patients with neuromuscular disorders

    Safety and efficiency of mobile lower body augmentation exoskeletons in patients with neuromuscular disorders

    Project
    Neuromuscular disorders (NMD) are characterized by muscle weakness, the severity, and the distribution of which more or less affect functional abilities. This muscle weakness is associated with dramatic impairments in quality of life (e.g. reduced autonomy/participation, social isolation, depression), physical inactivity, and complications (e.g. trauma, cardio-vascular and pulmonary events, chronic pain, loss of bone mass, and weight gain). Conversely, a residual level of muscle strength may be maintained over the years allowing ambulation and simple transfers, even at advanced stages. These abilities come at a cost of substantial compensatory strategies, high load on joints and muscles, and a high risk of falling. To date, most neuromuscular diseases have no cure.
    A class of mobile lower body augmentation exoskeletons is rapidly evolving. While many of these devices are designed for gait rehabilitation, a fraction may also be suitable for home and real-life use. Studies regarding the short and long term effects of these devices in primary muscle disorders are particularly scarce.
    This scientific project aims to assess the safety, usability, and acute efficiency of mobile lower body augmentation exoskeletons in patients with neuromuscular disorders. The project will include the conduct of studies in healthy volunteers and patients and will mainly focus on lower body exoskeletons in controlled environments. Depending on the results, real-life studies will be initiated. Side projects will also include work with upper limb compensation devices
    Hosting structure and team
    The Institute of Myology (Paris, France), is a multidisciplinary research center with expertise in muscle and its pathologies.
    This doctoral work will be performed at the Neuromuscular Physiology Lab that in collaboration with the clinical department, the clinical research unit, other laboratories of the Institute, and academic and industrial collaborators.
    Applicant's profile
    The candidate must hold an MSc in a relevant discipline(s) (including physical therapy, biomechanics, human movement sciences, ergonomics, rehabilitation sciences, human movement sciences). Experience with relevant laboratory techniques is desirable but a strong willingness to learn and an inquisitive attitude is essential. Although not mandatory, French-speaking is desirable because the intern will be prompted to work with healthy volunteers and patients.
    Keywords:
    • Human movement research
    • Biomechanics
    • IMU kinematics (APDM) and EMG (Delsys)
    • Neuromuscular physiology
    • Data sciences and statistics
    • Project management
    • Critical thinking and scientific writing
    Dates

    The duration of the doctoral contract is 3 years. The ideal starting date is October 2020. This position remains open until filled.

    Application Details

    The application should be sent directly to Dr. Damien Bachasson, PT, Ph.D. (d.bachasson@institut-myologie.org). Please include a cover letter, CV with references, and relevant degree transcripts. Shortlisted applicant will be contacted for a formal interview. Applications in French and English will be reviewed.

    References

    McGibbon, C. A., A. Sexton, A. Jayaraman, S. Deems-Dluhy, P. Gryfe, A. Novak, T. Dutta, E. Fabara, C. Adans-Dester and P. Bonato (2018). "Evaluation of the Keeogo exoskeleton for assisting ambulatory activities in people with multiple sclerosis: an open-label, randomized, cross-over trial." J Neuroeng Rehabil 15(1): 117. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12984-018-0468-6
    Estilow, T., A. M. Glanzman, K. Powers, A. Moll, J. Flickinger, L. Medne, G. Tennekoon and S. W. Yum (2018). "Use of the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton to Improve Upper Extremity Function in Patients With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy." Am J Occup Ther 72(2): 7202345010p7202345011-7202345010p7202345015. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2018.022939
    Schmidt, K., J. E. Duarte, M. Grimmer, A. Sancho-Puchades, H. Wei, C. S. Easthope and R. Riener (2017). "The Myosuit: Bi-articular Anti-gravity Exosuit That Reduces Hip Extensor Activity in Sitting Transfers." Front Neurorobot 11(57): 57. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbot.2017.00057


  • #2
    Applications are now closed as we shortlisted a satisfactory number of applications. Thank you all for your interest!

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