The analysis of human locomotor system is a rapidly expanding biomedical engineering discipline which has a major impact on diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases.
Many adults and children are affected by neurological problems that impair their function. These conditions include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, to mention just a few. The restoration of healthy locomotion (gait) is a major task in neurological rehabilitation. We wish to define rehabilitation technologies as those provided directly to elderly and/or disabled people, to enable them to live more independent lives and become integrated in the social and economic activity of their communities, preferably outside institutional care.
The Laboratory for Human Motion Analysis and Neurorehabilitation at UTEP has embarked on a program to forge links with clinical and scientific departments to advance some basic themes that are of clinical and scientific importance. These include the interaction of neurophysiology and biomechanics, the study of chronics diseases, and neurophysiological signal processing, to mention just a few.
The College of Engineering is dedicated to harnessing its intellectual and technological resources to improve the health and welfare of people within the El Paso Del Norte and Ciudad-Juarez regions as well as within the USA with a long term view to have an international impact in some leading areas of research.
The Laboratory for Human Motion Analysis and Neurorehabilitation seeks to:
- Serve society through research that provides the intellectual foundation to describe the quantitative linkages across scales in the human body and to create, from that understanding, the tools to improve human health.
- Educate students to understand the human body as an integrated system through quantitative engineering analysis and to use that understanding to design better therapeutic strategies, devices, and diagnostics.
- Provide students with practical engineering experience and opportunities through hands-on laboratory courses, internships, co-ops, senior projects, and other research opportunities
The Laboratory for Human Motion Analysis and Neurorehabilitation seeks to advance the sciences of biomechanics, neurodynamics and applications of soft computing, and to apply that knowledge to the design of automated diagnostic and therapeutic strategies and devices to improve recovery processes after neurological disorders. It is also important to experimentally demonstrate that functional recovery after impairment is based on the concepts of neuroplasticity and reorganization of cerebral activity, and that functional training is the key to optimal functional recovery of gait.
The research within the laboratory is dedicated to the highest level of scientific excellence and committed to improving human health and the quality of life. To fulfill our mission, we strive to achieve a set of objectives, which include:
- Creation of knowledge and technologies for the safe and reliable assessment of gait dynamics and physical activity as they relate to health, aging, disease states, and improved quality of life.
- Provision of a forum for interdisciplinary interaction and research both nationally and internationally
- Promotion of technologies which provide “engineering” solutions to medical problems
- Assessment of the efficacy and outcomes of medical therapies and practices applicable to chronic health conditions.
- Proactive encouragement of the formation of new projects
- Development of technologies that help predict and prevent chronic illnesses and other medical risks, and ensure effective integration of healthcare consumers and providers.
- Analysis of complex human motions to aid in the design of biomechatronic devices
- Prediction and prevention of complications and/or progression of health conditions and impairments.
- Use of information about health status and behavior patterns gathered over time to support proactive prevention and management strategies.
The research and development technologies at the Laboratory for Human Motion Analysis and Neurorehabilitation seek to provide services or systems which can help prevent or compensate for functional limitations, facilitate independent living and which can enable elderly and disabled people to realize their potential. The role of technologies and services in supporting independent living is gaining increasing attention. These technologies and services are perceived to have important implications for the quality of life of older people and people with disabilities as well as for the assistive technology market (both products and services) and for the possible containment or reduction in healthcare budgets.