A multi-pad electrode based functional electrical stimulation system for restoration of grasp
1 Tecnalia Serbia Ltd., Vladetina 13, Belgrade, Serbia
2 Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Bulevar kralja Aleksandra 73, Belgrade, Serbia
3 State University of Novi Pazar, Vuka Karadžića bb, Serbia
4 Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 6, Novi Sad, Serbia
5 Tecnalia, Paseo Mikeletegi 2, San Sebastian, Spain
6 Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7, Aalborg, Denmark
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2012, 9:66 doi:10.1186/1743-0003-9-66Published: 25 September 2012
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) applied via transcutaneous electrodes is a common rehabilitation technique for assisting grasp in patients with central nervous system lesions. To improve the stimulation effectiveness of conventional FES, we introduce multi-pad electrodes and a new stimulation paradigm.
The new FES system comprises an electrode composed of small pads that can be activated individually. This electrode allows the targeting of motoneurons that activate synergistic muscles and produce a functional movement. The new stimulation paradigm allows asynchronous activation of motoneurons and provides controlled spatial distribution of the electrical charge that is delivered to the motoneurons. We developed an automated technique for the determination of the preferred electrode based on a cost function that considers the required movement of the fingers and the stabilization of the wrist joint. The data used within the cost function come from a sensorized garment that is easy to implement and does not require calibration. The design of the system also includes the possibility for fine-tuning and adaptation with a manually controllable interface.
The device was tested on three stroke patients. The results show that the multi-pad electrodes provide the desired level of selectivity and can be used for generating a functional grasp. The results also show that the procedure, when performed on a specific user, results in the preferred electrode configuration characteristics for that patient. The findings from this study are of importance for the application of transcutaneous stimulation in the clinical and home environments.