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      Research to Improve Lives

      Biomedical Engineering Students and Faculty Make Strides in Prosthesis Research

      students at poster

      A Winning Research Project

      Andrew Saylor, ’19, presents his research poster titled “Electronic Prosthesis Alignment Tool: Application of Magnetometer Sensor” at the Summer Research Symposium. He won first place for the project, which he worked on in collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Akins.

      Over the summer, students in the newly accredited biomedical engineering program began working with Dr. Jonathan Akins, assistant professor, on his research to improve prostheses.

      Using Sensors to Improve Outcomes

      Ally Horvath, '17, and Samantha Eigenbrot, '17, attended the national conference for the Amputee Coalition in North Carolina to collect data for their summer research to help calculate the risk of falling of prosthesis users, as well as balance confidence. The students used sensors to analyze movement and collected data from several tests, including sit-to-stand and walking in a figure eight.

      According to Akins, the outcome measures can be used to see how one is improving with rehab. "The findings will help address how clinicians can build confidence using sensors to measure transfer ability and turn ability of prosthesis users during these tests."

      Sensors are not currently used to measure outcomes, but the students' findings show that they can be more accurate.

      The students submitted abstracts based on the research to the American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetics and presented during the Summer Research Symposium on Main Campus earlier this semester.

      Using Sensors for Alignment

      Andrew Saylor, '19, also worked with Akins over the summer on a prototype that helped identify optimal placement of sensors to be used as an electronic prosthetic alignment tool for providing a better fit for prosthetics.

      "As it is now, anytime someone with a prosthesis needs an adjustment, they would need to see a clinician, which would involve a series of tests to see where the fit is best," Akins said. "Our tool uses sensors in two directions to provide more consistent data for clinicians to more easily find the best fit."

      Saylor, who not only presented at the symposium but also won best poster, worked to find the perfect spot to find the data and have measurements appear on an electronic measurement device. He recently presented the research at the New Jersey Tech Council on Oct. 20.

      Akins, along with his research team from University of Pittsburgh, where he previously taught, submitted a provisional patent for this device.


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