Evaluating Immediate Benefits of Assisting Knee Extension with a Soft Inflatable Exosuit

Saivimal Sridar, Zhi Qiao, Alvaro Rascon, Albert Biemond, Amanda Beltran, Trent Maruyama, Christina Kwasnica, Panagiotis Polygerinos, Wenlong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Wearable robots such as powered exoskeletons and exosuits have been developed for gait assistance and rehabilitation. However, effects of knee extension assistance during the swing phase and initial stance of walking remains largely unknown. This work studies the changes in gait patterns for seven healthy participants and three impaired participants when knee extension in the swing and initial stance phases is assisted by a soft inflatable exosuit. The kinematics, surface electromyographic (sEMG) activity, and ground reaction forces (GRFs) for seven healthy participants during treadmill walking are recorded. Reductions in knee angle and sEMG activity of the quadriceps are observed. The knee angles, GRFs, spatiotemporal parameters, and compensatory gait patterns are studied for the three impaired participants for treadmill walking. Reductions in the knee angle, hip flexion, step length, and step time are observed. Compensatory gait patterns for the three participants varied for all participants. A timed up-and-go (TUG) test is also performed with the impaired participants during overground walking. A reduced TUG execution time is observed, indicating potential improvement in functional mobility. Overall, this work provides preliminary evidence on the benefits of a soft-exosuit in supporting healthy individuals and improving the rehabilitation of stroke survivors by assisting knee extension in the swing and initial stance phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9069314
Pages (from-to)216-225
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • initial stance
  • rehabilitation
  • Soft exosuit
  • stroke
  • swing phase
  • wearable robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Control and Optimization
  • Biomedical Engineering

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