07 Octobre 2020

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Engineering NICT Biology / Medical


Measurement & Instrumentation

1.5M patients / year (EU) suffer spastic paresis, particularly stroke-related ‘Foot Drop’ syndrome, i.e. insufficient active dorsiflexion that causes abnormal gait pattern and increases the risk of falls. Treatments are often unsatisfactory: surgery, rehabilitation, passive orthoses (ankle foot orthosis). Conventional functional electrical stimulation (FES) systems only provide ON and OFF stimulation, without ability to individualize the stimulation pattern or amplitude based on the subject kinematics. In this proposal, Adaptive Functional Electrical Stimulation (AFES) detects onset and end of swing phase without using a foot switch, to stimulate tibialis anterior and evertor muscles by adapting the stimulation intensity (compared to conventional FES) to the level of knee flexion, to help activate dorsiflexors and ensure smooth ground clearance during the swing phase of gait. The algorithm should help hemiparetic patients walk more comfortably and naturally by delivering stimulation as needed during the swing phase. Furthermore, this neurorehabilitation device should allow the patient to regain neurological functions and to become independent from it.


Treatment of paresis-related foot drop related to:

  • Stroke
  • Brain Trauma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury

Competitive advantages:

  • Adaptive stimulation
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Usable bare foot (no need for foot switch)
  • Greater walking confort
  • Reduction of consumption

Keywords: Stroke, Foot Drop, Functional Electrical Stimulation, Adaptative stimulation pattern, Knee joint angle, Neurorehabilitation, Stance and swing phase detection

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