Control of forearm module in upper-limb rehabilitation robot for reduction and biomechanical assessment of pronator hypertonia of stroke patients

Pin Cheng Kung, Chou-Ching Lin, Shu Min Chen, Ming-Shaung Ju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spastic hypertonia causes loss of range of motion (ROM) and contractures in patients with post-stroke hemiparesis. The pronation/supination of the forearm is an essential functional movement in daily activities. We developed a special module for a shoulder-elbow rehabilitation robot for the reduction and biomechanical assessment of pronator/supinator hypertonia of the forearm. The module consisted of a rotational drum driven by an AC servo motor and equipped with an encoder and a custom-made torque sensor. By properly switching the control algorithm between position control and torque control, a hybrid controller able to mimic a therapist's manual stretching movements was designed. Nine stroke patients were recruited to validate the functions of the module. The results showed that the affected forearms had significant increases in the ROM after five cycles of stretching. Both the passive ROM and the average stiffness were highly correlated to the spasticity of the forearm flexor muscles as measured using the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). With the custom-made module and controller, this upper-limb rehabilitation robot may be able to aid physical therapists to reduce hypertonia and quantify biomechanical properties of the muscles for forearm rotation in stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1650008
JournalJournal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1

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Patient rehabilitation
Stretching
Muscle
Robots
Controllers
Torque control
Position control
Torque
Stiffness
Sensors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering

Cite this

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abstract = "Spastic hypertonia causes loss of range of motion (ROM) and contractures in patients with post-stroke hemiparesis. The pronation/supination of the forearm is an essential functional movement in daily activities. We developed a special module for a shoulder-elbow rehabilitation robot for the reduction and biomechanical assessment of pronator/supinator hypertonia of the forearm. The module consisted of a rotational drum driven by an AC servo motor and equipped with an encoder and a custom-made torque sensor. By properly switching the control algorithm between position control and torque control, a hybrid controller able to mimic a therapist's manual stretching movements was designed. Nine stroke patients were recruited to validate the functions of the module. The results showed that the affected forearms had significant increases in the ROM after five cycles of stretching. Both the passive ROM and the average stiffness were highly correlated to the spasticity of the forearm flexor muscles as measured using the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). With the custom-made module and controller, this upper-limb rehabilitation robot may be able to aid physical therapists to reduce hypertonia and quantify biomechanical properties of the muscles for forearm rotation in stroke patients.",
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AU - Chen, Shu Min

AU - Ju, Ming-Shaung

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