reNeu: A soft, hybrid robotic exosuit neuroprosthesis

Imagine losing the ability to control how your body moves. This is the daily reality for the tens of millions of people across the world with neurological disorders that impair muscle control. Now imagine being able to put on “smart” clothing that leverages integrated textile electrodes and robotic acuators to bypass damaged neural circuitry and restore functional movement. Your life would be renewed.

It is this vision that underlies the reNeu–a hybrid exosuit being developed by our team to help people with post-stroke hemiparesis and other neuromotor impairments. In these patient groups, though their muscles retain force-generating capability, the neuromuscular pathways that facilitate communication between the brain and muscles are disrupted. Although these pathways often retain the basic potential to be activated, many patients cannot effectively access them during their usual rehabilitation therapies. In response to this need, the reNeu uses low-energy electrical pulses to activate human muscle in parallel with robotic actuation to provide individualized lower extremity assistance during walking and other functional activities.

Project Leads

Team

Publications

These Legs were Made for Propulsion: Advancing the Diagnosis and Treatment of Post-Stroke Propulsion Deficits.
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.
(see pdf or link)

A Soft Robotic Exosuit Improves Walking in Patients after Stroke.
Science Translational Medicine.
(see pdf or link)

Identifying Candidates for Targeted Gait Rehabilitation after Stroke: Better Prediction Through Biomechanics-Informed Characterization.
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.
(see pdf or link)

Reducing the Cost of Transport and Increasing Walking Distance After Stroke: a Randomized Controlled Trial on Fast Training Combined with Functional Electrical Stimulation.
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.
(see pdf or link)

Targeting Paretic Propulsion to Improve Poststroke Walking Function: a Preliminary Study.
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
(see pdf or link)