Soft Rehabilitation Actuator with Integrated Post-Stroke Finger Spasticity Evaluation
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AbstractStrokes cause severe impairment of hand function because of the spasticity in the affected upper extremities. Proper spasticity evaluation is critical to facilitate neural plasticity for rehabilitation after stroke. However, existing methods for measuring spasticity, e.g. Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), highly depends on clinicians' experiences, which are subjective and lacks quantitative details. Here, we introduce the first rehabilitation actuator that objectively reflects the condition of post-stroke finger spasticity. The actuator is 3D printed with soft materials. By considering the finger and the actuator together, the spasticity, i.e. stiffness, in finger is obtained from the pressure-angle relationship. The method is validated by simulations using finite element analysis (FEA) and experiments on mannequin fingers. Furthermore, it is examined on four stroke subjects and four healthy subjects. Results show the finger stiffness increases significantly from healthy subjects to stroke subjects, particularly those with high MAS score. For patients with the same MAS score, stiffness variation can be a few times. With this soft actuator, a hand rehabilitation robot that may tell the therapeutic progress during the rehabilitation training is readily available.
All Author(s) ListHolam Heung, Zhiqiang Tang, Xiangqian Shi, Kaiyu Tong, Zheng Li
Journal nameFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Volume Number8
PublisherFrontiers Media
Article number111
LanguagesEnglish-United States
Keywordsstroke, finite element method, finger spasticity, soft-elastic composite actuator, elastomer 3D printing

Last updated on 2021-26-09 at 01:33