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Biomedical Engineering Professor Featured in New York Times

Julius Dewald, professor of biomedical engineering and professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy & Human Movement Science at the Feinberg School of Medicine, was featured in a New York Times article that highlighted his work in understanding strokes and developing rehabiltation robotics.

“Dr. Julius Dewald is trying to meld medicine, science and engineering in a path-breaking way to better understand such impairment and how robotic therapy might help people who have had strokes reach for a hamburger or pull on a fancy boot,” the article states.

Dewald uses EEGs and fMRIs to try to understand how joint control is linked to brain hemispheres after a stroke. His group has also developed robotics that can change the weight of a limb affected by a stroke, making it lighter and therefore able to use fewer brain signals to move.

“Dr. Dewald’s team just concluded a pilot study with 10 patients and is starting a second with 20,” the article states. “A comprehensive clinical trial would follow. The goal is to produce robotic devices that cost less than $15,000, affordable for small clinics and some individuals.”

Several professors at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science have partnerships with the Feinberg School of Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to develop robotics for patients who have had amputated limbs or strokes. Projects include KineAssist, a full-body device that assists patients with relearning motor movements like walking.

See more rehabilitation projects here.