Dr. Thompson Sarkodie-Gyan

Welcome to the Laboratory for Human Motion Analysis and NeuroRehabilitation: The Laboratory is the focus of interdisciplinary research at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) that draws together engineers, scientists, clinicians and medical researchers to apply their extensive expertise to create revolutionary progress in medical diagnosis, intervention and treatment, and to tackle major challenges in modern healthcare.


Mission:
The Laboratory for Human Motion Analysis and Neurorehabilitaion (HumanLab) provides technologies for improving independence and reasonable quality of life for our citizens with disabilities and handicaps, due to impairments or aging.
The research and technology at the HumanLab is currently at a pivotal point. Scientists, engineers, medical practitioners, students and faculty work together to effect research programs that will take our nation forward into the 21st century.


STRATEGIC GOALS:

IN FIVE YEARS TIME:


We will have:

Research within the lab seeks to understand neural information processing by the central and peripheral nervous systems at several different levels of analysis, and to use that understanding to guide the development of novel therapeutic approaches to disorders of the nervous system.
Functional rehabilitation may be most effectively achieved through the reduction of variances from normal patterns through training and other compensatory strategies. Therefore, our Laboratory embarks on the development of measurement methodologies for efficient and reliable analysis of human dynamic behavior at a level that quantifies variations from morphometrically adjusted normal in space and in real-time.  
We perform analysis to combine measured kinematic and kinetic data with numerical modeling and optimization for detailed analysis of musculoskeletal function.

Faculty:

Adjunct and Affiliated Faculty:

Current Projects:

Patients with diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy develop loss of neural sensory feedback as the neuropathy progresses. As a consequence of the progressive disease process, diabetic foot pressure ulcers develop which in turn leads to the development of what infections and eventually amputations. This research aims at developing an ectopic sensory center that can substitute for the loss of proprioception on the foot.

This research aims to develop a computational intelligence methodology driven by a wearable microelectromechanical systems-based (MEMS) sensor array for efficient and reliable analysis of human gait dynamics at a level capable of quantifying variations from morphometrically adjusted normal in three dimensions and real-time. This is an essential and limiting step in the conceptualization of new systems for objective characterization of gait disability and recovery with the potential for rehabilitative and compensatory interventions modulated by immediate and case-specific kinematic feedback.

The angular positions of the body’s segments with respect to space and relative
to each other play an important role in understanding human dynamic behavior in
 space. This behavior is very complex and involves many physical, perceptual
and motor aspects. The position sense of a limb involves not only spindle
receptors in the muscles, but also receptors in the skin and in the capsules of the
joints. When tested with psychophysical means, one finds that the brain
combines these many signals into a rather accurate position sense over a broad
dynamic range (true with the small angles used here). This sensor for the reliable
measurement of joint angles provides measurements of the joint angles in 3D
space.

This device will control balance and posture in the human, i.e. equilibrium position, using the principles of machine intelligence quotient, MIQ. This device exhibits the characteristics of the human neuromusculoskeletal system.

Exoskeletal device to mimic the human movement, and in the case of the hip-joint connection. The device is a lower extremity hip-joint gait device that emulates, follows and gives motion to all the possible movements of the legs by using a ball joint concentric to the head of the human femur, by having a partial spherical shell surrounded by an internal and an external spherical plates, that allows the shell to rotate around three axes. Control of a prototype synergistic multi-axis robotic system
 The main objective of this project is to develop a mechatronic device for the efficient assessment of balance and posture. This device may be used for the treatment of diseases associated with balance and posture disorders. It may also be used for training in different areas like sports, in the military and in space exploration (astronauts).
 This research project exhibits high significance for multidisciplinary research. It includes and requires a high level of engineering concepts from areas including but not limited to electrical and mechanical engineering, control engineering, biomedical engineering, computer Science and industrial design (ergonomics).


A Mathematical Model for the Validation of the Ground Reaction Force Sensor in Human Gait Analysis ( link )

 A mathematical model to evaluate detection on Muscle Transition-to-Fatigue during Isometric Exercise using a Surface Electromyography Segmented Assessment for the human Lower Limb ( link )

* Sensor-Based Robotic Learning System for the Rehabilitation of Impaired Arm
This project is the development of a medical robot for the purpose of rehabilitation and the assessment of the disabled upper extremity. In this project, the motors are made responsible to move the robotic manipuladum according to the user command by programming the servo drives. The user’s (patient or normal subject) muscle activity, elbow flexion and extension angle, and the accelerations are recorded in three modes of movement by the user:

  1. With No Assistance or With Resistance by the motor
  2. With Assistance of the motor and
  3. With Resistance by the motor.

The data which is collected from both patients and normal subjects are compared to assess the level of impairment in patients in accordance with the normal subjects. Additionally, the robotic manipulandum can also be used as a rehabilitator, as the repetitive movements and the reaching tasks can be achieved using this medical robot.

 

Past and Completed Projects:

Alumini:

Publications: