Kawasaki Skyfront i-Newsletter

Kawasaki Skyfront i-Newsletter

Press Releases vol.3

Source: Kawasaki INnovation Gateway at SKYFRONT (KING SKYFRONT), Coastal Area International Strategy Office, Kawasaki City, Japan

For immediate release: 26 March 2015

Subject line: Robotic supported training helps chronic spinal patients recover

(Kawasaki, Japan, 26 March 2015) An investigation by researchers in Germany and Japan has now demonstrated significant mobility improvements in spinal injury patients after training with the aid of a harness carrying a portion of their weight and a robotic hybrid assistive limb (HAL) exoskeleton designed by Cyberdyne, Inc., Japan. The researchers at Cyberdyne are affiliated with the Kawasaki INnovation Gateway at SKYFRONT, Japan.

Further information about science and technology projects at Kawasaki City is available in the Kawasaki SkyFront iNewsletter that highlights research being conducted by scientists and industries affiliated with Kawasaki INnovation Gateway at SKYFRONT (KING SKYFRONT)—the City’s flagship science and technology hub focused on open innovation in the life sciences and environment.

KING SKYFRONT is located on the opposite side of the Tama River that separates Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport) and the Tonomachi district of Kawasaki. The Airport plays an important role in the globalization of the innovative activities of scholars, industrialists and City administrators based at KING SKYFRONT.

March 2015 Issue of Kawasaki SkyFront iNewsletter: http://inewsletter-king-skyfront.jp/en/

Robotic supported training helps chronic spinal patients recover

Loss of strength and coordination may inhibit the mobility of spinal injury patients long after recovery in the nervous system is complete. An investigation by researchers in Germany and Japan has now demonstrated significant mobility improvements in spinal injury patients after training with the aid of a harness carrying a portion of their weight and a robotic hybrid assistive limb (HAL) exoskeleton designed by Cyberdyne, Inc., Japan.

Researchers from BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil in Germany and the University of Tsukuba in Japan monitored eight patients who had all reached a chronic state in their condition so that further improvement was unlikely. The training consisted of 90 minute physiotherapy sessions 5 times a week for 90 days. Each session included treadmill training using the HAL exoskeleton. Electrodes placed on the muscles monitor potential differences, allowing the HAL to read these muscle signals and respond with support from the motorised exoskeleton. In addition around 50% of the patients’ weight was supported by a harness to prevent toe dragging or knee buckling.

The researchers assessed the mobility of the patients using the time up and go (TUG) test, which measures the time and assistance required to stand up from a wheelchair, walk 3 m, turn around and walk back. They also monitored the speed and distance covered during treadmill training.

At the beginning of the study only three patients were able to walk for six minutes, whereas by the end all could. In addition speed, the distance covered, and the stride length during treadmill training increased and TUG times decreased.
“Hybrid assistive limb exoskeleton results in improved over-ground walking and leads to the assumption of a beneficial effect on ambulatory monility,” conclude the researchers in their report, adding. “Evaluation in larger clinical trials is required”.

Publication and Affiliation

Mirko Aach1*, Oliver Crucigera, Matthias Sczesny-Kaiser2, Oliver Höffken2, Renate Ch. Meindl1, Martin Tegenthoff2, Peter Schwenkreis2, Yoshiyuki Sankai3, Thomas A. Schildhauer4, Voluntary driven exoskeleton as a new tool for rehabilitation in chronic spinal cord injury: a pilot study. The Spine Journal 14 2847–2853, (2014).

  1. Department of Spinal Cord Injuries, BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44797, Bochum, Germany
  2. Department of Neurology, BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44797, Bochum, Germany
  3. Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0006, Japan
  4. Department of General and Trauma Surgery, BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44797, Bochum, Germany
  5. *corresponding author

Video Feature


Kazunori Kataoka, Ph.D.


Professor, Department of Materials Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, and Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine
The University of Tokyo

http://inewsletter-king-skyfront.jp/en/video_feature/vol_3/feature01/

Research Highlights

Critical core structures for drug-loaded nanocarriers
http://inewsletter-king-skyfront.jp/en/research_highlights/vol_3/research01/

Three-layered nanocarrier for pinpointed therapeutic gene transfer
http://inewsletter-king-skyfront.jp/en/research_highlights/vol3research02/

Advances in stem cell technology: a review of recent progress
http://inewsletter-king-skyfront.jp/en/research_highlights/vol_3/research03/

Robotic supported training helps chronic spinal patients recover
http://inewsletter-king-skyfront.jp/en/research_highlights/vol_3/research04/

Further information:

Kawasaki City, Japan, Coastal Area International Strategy Office General Planning Bureau, City of Kawasaki,1 Miyamoto-cho, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-city, Kanagawa 210-8577, Japan

EMAIL:20rinkai@city.kawasaki.jp

About KING SKYFRONT

The Kawasaki INnovation Gateway (KING) SKYFRONT is the flagship science and technology innovation hub of Kawasaki City. KING SKYFRONT is a 40 hectare area located in the Tonomachi area of the Keihin Industrial Region that spans Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture and Tokyo International Airport (also often referred to as Haneda Airport).

 KING SKYFRONT was launched in 2013 as a base for scholars, industrialists and government administrators to work together to devise real life solutions to global issues in the life sciences and environment.

 Website

http://www.city.kawasaki.jp/en/category/132-5-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.html

 

KING SKYFRONT Concept Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKh1FCPYWmI&index=2&list=PL70Lb7fKyWsjegtd4tBfXQqbRZbeNjqwt

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