Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Ultrasound Technology Could Be Applied Toward Rehab In Cases Of Partial Paralysis
WESA 90.5 visits the Sharma Lab to learn about his NSF CAREER award
A robotic exoskeleton walking assistance device created by Nitin Sharma and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh. Sharma is working on using ultrasound technology to improve the performance of these devices for patients with partial paralysis. (WESA/Joaquin Gonzalez)

Most people associate ultrasound technology with pregnancy and the little heartbeat on the monitor. A researcher at the University of Pittsburgh has a slightly different application in mind.

Nitin Sharma, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Pitt, recently received more than $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop algorithms that could measure muscle function in patients with partial paralysis due to spinal cord injuries — just by looking at ultrasound images of affected areas.

By stimulating muscles electrically and using a sort of robotic leg brace called an exoskeleton, Sharma can already help patients with both total and partial lower-body paralysis walk a few steps. This exercise can help the patients with partial paralysis regain movement through repetition.

Read the full story at WESA.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA , 4/10/2018

Contact: Joaquin Gonzalez