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https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Detecting-diluteness.aspx665Detecting diluteness<p>​Inside each and every living cell, there are miniscule structures called membraneless organelles. These tiny powerhouses use chemistry to cue the inner workings of a cell — movement, division and even self-destruction.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/WashU%20engineering%20Rohit%20Pappu%20Dilute-pool-7.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/News/34_.000">a</a></div><p>​A collaboration between engineers at Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis has developed a new way to observe the inner workings and material structure of these vitally important organelles. The research, published today in Nature Chemistry, could lead to a host of new scientific applications, as well as a better understanding of diseases such as cancer, Huntington’s and ALS.<br/></p><p>“They’re like little drops of water: They flow, they have all the properties of a liquid, similar to raindrops,” said <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Rohit-Pappu.aspx">Rohit Pappu</a>, the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering at Washington University’s School of Engineering & Applied Science. “However, these droplets are comprised of protein that come together with RNA (ribonucleic) molecules.”</p><p>In the past, peering into organelles has proven difficult, due to their tiny size. Clifford Brangwynne, associate professor in chemical and biological engineering at Princeton’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and his collaborators, developed a new technique — called ultrafast scanning fluorescence correlation spectroscopy or usFCS — to get an up-close assessment of the concentrations within and probe the porosity of facsimiles of membraneless organelles. The approach uses sound-waves to control a microscope’s ability to move and then obtain calibration-free measurements of concentrations inside membraneless organelles.<br/></p><p>In their research, Brangwynne and his team, including postdoctoral researchers Ming-Tzo Wei and Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle, used cells taken from a roundworm. With usFCS, they were able to measure protein concentrations inside organelles formed by the specific protein, LAF-1. This protein is responsible for producing p-granules, which are protein assemblies responsible for polarizing a cell prior to division. Once the Princeton researchers were able to clearly peek into the organelles and view the LAF-1, what they found surprised them.</p><blockquote>“We found that instead of being densely packed droplets, these are very low density, permeable structures,” Brangwynne said. “It was not the expected result.”</blockquote><p>That’s when Washington University’s Pappu and his graduate research assistant Alex Holehouse tried to make sense of the surprising findings from the Princeton group. Pappu’s lab specializes in polymer physics and modeling of membraneless organelles.</p><p>“We were able to basically swim inside the organelles to determine how much room is actually available. While we expected to see a crowded swimming pool, we found one with plenty of room, and water. We’re starting to realize that these droplets are not all going to be the same,” Pappu said.<br/></p><div style="text-align: center; font-size: 0.9em; color: #444444; font-style: italic;"> <img src="/news/PublishingImages/WashU%20Engineering%20Rohit%20Pappu%20ORGANELLES.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/><br/> For the first time, engineers from Washington University in St. Louis and Princeton University were able to get a good look inside membraneless organelles, tiny components inside a cell. This illustration shows the differing viscosity found in them; a discovery that could bring new lab breakthroughs and disease understanding to the forefront. (Courtesy: Washington University in St. Louis) </div><p> <br/> </p><p>In the case of the LAF-1 organelles, the researchers found the formation of ultra-dilute droplets derives from information encoded in the intrinsically disordered regions of these protein sequences. The features of that sequence ensure that this protein is a highly floppy molecule, rather like cooked spaghetti, lacking the ability to fold into a specific, well-defined structure. In contrast, in other organelles formed by different proteins, the material properties are more like those of toothpaste or ketchup. Brangwynne and Pappu are continuing to collaborate to figure out how different protein sequences encode the ability to form droplets with very different material properties. This work has direct implications for understanding biological functions of membraneless organelles and for understanding how changes to these material properties give rise to diseases such as neurodegeneration or cancers.</p><p>“There is an explosion of engineering applications and transformations for mechanistic cell biology that are on the horizon. These advancements will be accessible as we learn more about the foundation of these organelles and how their amino acid sequence determines material properties and function,” Pappu said. “These organelles are doing remarkable things inside cells, and a really neat question is: How can we mimic them?”</p><p>Pappu says one day, researchers could hack the design principles of organelles to fashion everything from intracellular chemistry labs to tiny drug delivery vehicles and imaging agents. Aside from the practical applications, there are also potential implications for understanding and diagnosing a whole host of diseases.</p><blockquote>“It is essential to be able to understand how one can regulate the functions of these droplets,” Pappu said. “If we succeed, the impact could be transformative: It’s not just cancer, it’s neurodegeneration, about developmental disorders, and even the fundamentals of cell biology.”</blockquote><p>Ming-Tzo Wei#, Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle#, Alex S. Holehouse#, Carlos Chih-Hsiung Chen, Marina Feric, Craig B. Arnold, Rodney D. Priestley, Rohit V. Pappu* and Clifford P. Brangwynne* “Phase behavior of disordered proteins underlying low density and high permeability of liquid organelles.” (#co-first authors; *Corresponding authors) Nature Chemistry. June 26, 2017 DOI: 10.1038/NCCHEM.2803</p><p>Funding for this research was provided by the National Science Foundation (DMR 1420541) and the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund. The work was also supported by a National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award (1DP2GM105437-01), an NSF CAREER Award (125035), NIH grants (1K99NS096217-01; 5RO1NS056114), and an HFSP Program grant (RGP0007/2012).<br/><br/></p> <SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN> <p> <br/> </p>​<div> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Rohit Pappu<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Rohit-Pappu.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Pappu_Rohit_1_16_05.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="Yixin Chen" style="margin: 5px;"/></a><br/> </strong> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Professor<br/>Biomedical Engineering<br/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Rohit-Pappu.aspx">>> View Bio</a></span></div><div></div></div><br/></div>Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis and Princeton University developed a new way to dive into the cell's tiniest and most important components. They expected to find "a crowded swimming pool."Erika Ebsworth-Goold https://source.wustl.edu/2017/06/detecting-diluteness/2017-06-26T05:00:00ZEngineers at Washington University in St. Louis and Princeton University developed a new way to dive into the cell's tiniest and most important components. They expected to find "a crowded swimming pool."<p>​New experimental and theoretical approaches ‘dive into the pool’ of membranes organelles<br/></p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Lizzy-Crist-Named-DIII-Honda-Athlete-of-the-Year.aspx657Lizzy Crist Named DIII Honda Athlete of the Year<p>​Washington University in St. Louis senior goalkeeper <a href="http://washubears.com/sports/wsoc/2016-17/bios/crist_lizzy_12c9">Lizzy Crist</a> was named the 2017 Division III Honda Athlete of the Year, as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Lizzy%20Crist%20WashU%20Engineering.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Crist is the first WashU student-athlete since 2000-01 to earn the honor and the fifth in school history. She joins Amy Albers (1994-95, volleyball), Shelley Swan (1995-96, volleyball), Alia Fischer (1999-2000, basketball) and Tasha Rodgers (2000-01, basketball) as previous award winners.</p><p>"To me, being named the D3 Honda Athlete of the Year is the culmination of 18 plus years of hard work and sacrifice. If I think about it all at once, it is a little overwhelming, so I try to take a step back and look at all of the people who have helped me get here," said Crist. "This award would not have been possible without my talented and dedicated teammates. Without them, there is no success. I also owe this achievement to my parents who have always believed in me and who have been there for me as role models."</p><p>Crist will be presented with this honor on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 26, at 6 p.m. (PT) in the Founders' Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles. The honor was voted on by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the CWSA program, now in its 41st year.</p><p>Crist was the 2016 National Soccer Coaches Soccer Association (NSCAA) National Player of the Year after helping lead the Bears to the 2016 NCAA Division III National Championship. She was also the D3soccer.com Goalkeeper of the Year and an NSCAA, HERO Sports and D3soccer.com First-Team All-America selection.</p><p>Crist started 23 games in goal for the Bears and recorded a 19-1-2 mark with a single-season school record 0.29 goals against average. She also set the single-season school record with 13 shutouts, and tied the single-season win total. Crist led the University Athletic Association (UAA) and ranked fifth in NCAA Division III in goals allowed (6) and goals against average.</p><p>"I am proud of the woman <a href="http://washubears.com/sports/wsoc/2016-17/bios/crist_lizzy_12c9">Lizzy Crist</a> has become. Lizzy has carved out a special collegiate career, academically, athletically, and socially," said WashU head coach Jim Conlon. "</p><blockquote>"In the Washington University women's soccer family, we want to transcend the NCAA student-athlete experience into one of a scholar-champion. We ask our women to push their boundaries academically and athletically and open their minds to respecting other people's differences. Lizzy has opened her mind and pushed boundaries throughout her career at WashU."</blockquote> <p>She was named the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the second-consecutive season after posting a 2-0 mark with a 0.90 goals against average in two games at the Final Four. Crist helped lead the Bears to the program's first NCAA Championship in school history and concludes her career as the school's all-time leader in shutouts (31) and was second in wins (48).</p><p>"To my coaches, professors, Chancellor Wrighton, and members of the athletic department, thank you for promoting WashU students to achieve their full potential in both academics and athletics," Crist added. "I am extraordinarily grateful for the time and energy you give to making our four-year experience at WashU last a lifetime."</p><p>A three-time Academic all-UAA honoree, Crist was a 2016 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) First-Team Academic All-America and All-District Selection. She graduated with a 3.90 grade point average while majoring in biomedical engineering, and will enroll in the University of Minnesota Biomedical Engineering PhD program in the Fall.</p><p>"Her academic prowess in biomedical engineering takes classroom theory and puts it into life practicality with all of her internships and research opportunities," added Conlon. "On the field, she takes the ball and turns it into a tool of growth. She makes herself, me and her teammates better by the way she approaches life, the game and learning. Lizzy is truly a scholar-champion." </p><p>The Collegiate Women Sports Awards have honored the nation's top NCAA women athletes for 41 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions.<br/></p>Lizzy Crist2017-06-15T05:00:00Z"In the Washington University women's soccer family, we want to transcend the NCAA student-athlete experience into one of a scholar-champion," said WashU head coach Jim Conlon.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Setton-named-chair-of-WashU-biomedical-engineering.aspx656Setton named chair of WashU biomedical engineering<p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Lori-Setton.aspx">Lori Setton</a>, a renowned researcher into the role of the degeneration and repair of musculoskeletal tissues, has been named chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis effective Aug. 1. <br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Lori%20Setton%20WashU%20BME%20Chair%202017.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Setton's research blends tools from mechanical engineering, materials synthesis and cell and molecular biology to advance use of biomaterials designed to deliver bioactive cells or drugs to treat musculoskeletal diseases such as arthritis and herniated disks. </p><p>"We are quite fortunate to have someone as talented and qualified as Dr. Lori Setton already at Washington University," said <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Aaron-Bobick.aspx">Aaron Bobick</a>, dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the James M. McKelvey Professor. "Lori is not only a tremendous scholar and researcher, she is also a leader within the biomedical engineering community serving as the Biomedical Engineering Society president. I very much look forward to working with Lori as we work closely to achieve her great aspirations for the department." </p><p>Setton's work, which has been supported by more than $25 million in funding, includes creating new biomaterials that promote regeneration of degenerating intervertebral discs; creating new drug depots to slowly release inflammatory inhibitors in arthritis and disc diseases; and revealing novel relationships between disease development and the onset of pain and dysfunction. At the start of Setton's research career in the 1990s, she was one of a few to tackle how mechanical loading and biological factors contribute to disc disorders and back pain, a field we now know as mechanobiology. WashU has been recognized for its research strengths in mechanobiology with a community of more than 20 recognized investigators and the National Science Foundation's Center for Engineering MechanoBiology. Setton cites this community as part of what attracted her to WashU's Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) in 2015.</p><blockquote>"Biomedical engineering is a discipline, and department, central to the engineering community at WashU," said Setton, who was installed as the Lucy and Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in October 2016. </blockquote><p>"With the ongoing construction of two new engineering buildings, WashU BME has an extraordinary opportunity to partner with the Schools of Medicine and Arts & Sciences and all departments in Engineering, to expand groundbreaking research and opportunities for our exceptional students."</p> <p>Setton, who joined the Engineering faculty in 2015 from Duke University, earned master's and doctoral degrees, both in mechanical engineering, from Columbia University. She earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University. She is a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and of the American Institute of Biological and Medical Engineering and earned a Presidential Early Career Award from Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 1997.<br/></p><p>Setton has been recognized for her commitment to increasing diversity in the engineering student body as the first recipient of a doctoral research mentor award at Duke and for leading a partnership between the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) as BMES president. Throughout her career, she has mentored more than 40 doctoral and post-doctoral trainees in her lab and has published more than 170 papers in peer-reviewed journals. <br/></p><p>Setton succeeds <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Daniel-Moran.aspx">Daniel Moran</a>, who has been interim chair since April, when <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Steven-George.aspx">Steven George, MD, PhD</a>, the Elvera & William Stuckenberg Professor of Technology & Human Affairs, stepped down as chair. <br/></p><p>​<br/></p><div class="cstm-section"><h3>BME at WashU<br/></h3><div> <strong></strong></div><p style="text-align: center;">Biomedical engineers at WashU work with world-renowned physicians and scientists to improve global quality of life.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://bme.wustl.edu/Pages/default.aspx">>> bme.wustl.edu</a><br/></p></div>Lori SettonBeth Miller 2017-06-12T05:00:00ZLori Setton is a renowned researcher into the role of the degeneration and repair of musculoskeletal tissues.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/A-better-look-at-the-lungs.aspx653A better look at the lungs<p>​The National Institutes of Health awarded a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis a four-year, $1.7 million grant to attempt to develop a new way to image airflow in lungs. If such research proves successful, it someday could make diagnoses of lung disease considerably more expeditious, easy and cost-effective.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/washu%20engineering%20mark%20anatasio.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/News/34_.000">a</a></div><p>“There is a great clinical need for being able to image ventilation, however, there’s really no easy way to image ventilation in vivo right now. So the purpose of this project is to develop a new technique,” said <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Mark-Anastasio.aspx">Mark Anastasio</a>, professor of biomedical engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science.</p><p>Physicians currently use CT scans and MRI to image airflow — or ventilation — in the lungs. Both methods require the patient to inhale a contrast agent, a procedure that can cause complications.  Additionally, such methods require expensive equipment that limit their widespread use.</p><p>Anastasio will use sophisticated modeling and machine learning to develop new tech that would enable airflow imaging with a single X-ray image. The method would take less time and not require contrast inhalation beforehand. It potentially would be a less expensive, more efficient way to get a better look at how air circulates through the lungs.<br/></p><p>A simple-to-implement imaging method that could provide spatially- and temporally-resolved information regarding ventilation would be of great value to those studying basic pulmonary physiology and the onset and progression of a large range of respiratory diseases in pre-clinical model. It would also facilitate drug discovery and efficacy studies aimed at mitigating respiratory pathology.</p><blockquote>“At the end of the day, we want to produce an enhanced X-ray image with values that tell us how much air there is in different parts of the lung. We believe this rapid imaging approach will allow earlier diagnosis of a whole host of lung conditions, including COPD and even lung cancer,” Anastasio said.</blockquote> <p>Anastasio is working on the project with two colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine: Buck Rogers, PhD, a professor of radiation oncology and of radiology, and Steven Brody, MD, the Dorothy R. and Hubert C. Moog Professor of Pulmonary Medicine and a professor of radiology. Together, the researchers plan to evaluate the technology in mice.</p><p>“The partnership with the Medical School is critical,” Anastasio said. “Having access to collaborators there with very specific skills and sets of expertise is vital for technology developers like me. It allows our teams to create and evaluate the technology in a very meaningful and systematic way.”</p><p>Their work is supported by NIH grant R01EB023045.<br/></p> <SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN> <p> <br/> </p>​ <div> <br/> <br/> </div><div><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Improving Medicine & Health</h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Mark-Anastasio.aspx"> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Anastasio_Mark.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a> <br/> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Mark-Anastasio.aspx"> <strong>Mark Anastasio</strong></a><br/> </strong> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Professor<br/> ​Biomedical Engineering</span> </div><div> <br/> </div></div></div>A team of engineers and radiologists at Washington University in St. Louis hope to develop a new x-ray technique to better see air flow in the lungs. Photo credit: The Computational Bioimaging Laboratory, Washington University in St. LouisErika Ebsworth-Goold2017-06-07T05:00:00ZNew research by WashU engineers could someday make diagnoses of lung disease easier and more cost-effective.<p>​Engineer awarded $1.7 million NIH grant for new imaging research<br/></p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/WashU-engineering-students-win-national-titles-All-American-honors.aspx648WashU engineering students win national titles & All-American honors<p>​The Washington University in St. Louis women's track & field team was the top-ranked team all season and culminated the year with the first NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championship in program history and 22nd overall in school history, while the men added a ninth place finish as the Bears were one of just two programs to have both the women and men place in the top-10 at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/OTF_Championships.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>The WashU women totaled 56 points as Ithaca College placed second (37) and Carthage College placed third (33). The WashU men placed ninth with 22 points while University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (47) took home the title.</p><p>Earning individual national titles were seniors <a href="http://bearsports.wustl.edu/sports/track/2016-17/bios/ricketts_deko_e0wz" rtenodeid="4"><strong>Deko Ricketts</strong></a><strong> (mechanical engineering) </strong>and Rebecca Ridderhoff. Ricketts captured the 800m title for the men, gaining 10 points in a photo finish while Ridderhoff ran to a sub-minute time in the 400m hurdles. Ridderhoff's first place finish and 10 points helped push the Bears ahead of Ithaca.</p><p rtenodeid="5"><strong>1,500m</strong></p><p>Freshman <a href="http://bearsports.wustl.edu/sports/track/2016-17/bios/matteucci_nick_113016" rtenodeid="2"><strong>Nick Matteucci</strong></a><strong> (chemical engineering) </strong>earned All-American honors in his first attempt at the outdoor championships. He placed fifth overall with a time of 3:54.33. </p><p><strong>400m Hurdles</strong><br/></p><p>Ridderhoff ran to the National Title in the 400m hurdles with a sub-minute time of 59.43, placing more than half of a second in front of the runner-up. Senior <a href="http://bearsports.wustl.edu/sports/track/2016-17/bios/hancock_kelli_vupq" rtenodeid="5"><strong>Kelli Hancock</strong></a><strong> (biomedical engineering)</strong> placed third with a time of 1:00.15. Ridderhoff and Hancock combined for 16 points to supplant Ithaca for the team lead.<br/></p><p rtenodeid="4"><strong>Pole Vault</strong></p><p>Senior <a href="http://bearsports.wustl.edu/sports/track/2016-17/bios/kleven_everett_113016" rtenodeid="3"><strong>Everett Kleven</strong></a><strong> (engineering)</strong> placed fourth for an All-American finish as he cleared a height of 5.15m. In his lone season competing for the Bears, Kleven earned All-American honors during both the indoor and outdoor seasons.<br/></p><p>For a full list of results, visit <a href="http://bearsports.wustl.edu/sports/track/2016-17/releases/20170527s1mqs1">bearsports.wustl.edu.</a><br/></p>bearsports.wustl.eduhttp://bearsports.wustl.edu/sports/track/2016-17/releases/20170527s1mqs12017-05-27T05:00:00ZThe Washington University in St. Louis women's track & field team was the top-ranked team all season and culminated the year with the first NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championship in program history.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Mind-controlled-device-helps-stroke-patients-retrain-brains-to-move-paralyzed-hands.aspx646Mind-controlled device helps stroke patients retrain brains to move paralyzed hands<p>​Stroke patients who learned to use their minds to open and close a device fitted over their paralyzed hands gained some control over their hands, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/WashU%20Engineering%20Brain%20Control%20Limb.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>By mentally controlling the device with the help of a brain-computer interface, participants trained the uninjured parts of their brains to take over functions previously performed by injured areas of the brain, the researchers said.</p><p>“We have shown that a brain-computer interface using the uninjured hemisphere can achieve meaningful recovery in chronic stroke patients,” said <a href="http://www.neurosurgery.wustl.edu/research/laboratories/leuthardt-lab-150">Eric Leuthardt, MD,</a> a professor of neurosurgery, of neuroscience, of biomedical engineering, and of mechanical engineering & applied science, and the study’s co-senior author.</p><p>The study is published May 26 in the journal Stroke.</p><p>Stroke is the leading cause of acquired disability among adults. About 700,000 people in the United States experience a stroke every year, and 7 million are living with the aftermath.</p><p>In the first weeks after a stroke, people rapidly recover some abilities, but their progress typically plateaus after about three months.</p><p>“We chose to evaluate the device in patients who had their first stroke six months or more in the past because not a lot of gains are happening by that point,” said co-senior author <a href="https://neuro.wustl.edu/about-us/physician-faculty-directory/thy-huskey-md-faapmr/">Thy Huskey, MD</a>, an associate professor of neurology at the School of Medicine and program director of the Stroke Rehabilitation Center of Excellence at The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. “Some lose motivation. But we need to continue working on finding technology to help this neglected patient population.”</p><p>David Bundy, the study’s first author and a former graduate student in Leuthardt’s lab, worked to take advantage of a quirk in how the brain controls movement of the limbs. In general, areas of the brain that control movement are on the opposite side of the body from the limbs they control. But about a decade ago, Leuthardt and Bundy, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at University of Kansas Medical Center, discovered that a small area of the brain played a role in planning movement on the same side of the body.</p><p>To move the left hand, they realized, specific electrical signals indicating movement planning first appear in a motor area on the left side of the brain. Within milliseconds, the right-sided motor areas become active, and the movement intention is translated into actual contraction of muscles in the hand.</p><p>A person whose left hand and arm are paralyzed has sustained damage to the motor areas on the right side of the brain. But the left side of the person’s brain is frequently intact, meaning many stroke patients can still generate the electrical signal that indicates an intention to move. The signal, however, goes nowhere since the area that executes the movement plan is out of commission.</p><p>“The idea is that if you can couple those motor signals that are associated with moving the same-sided limb with the actual movements of the hand, new connections will be made in your brain that allow the uninjured areas of your brain to take over control of the paralyzed hand,” Leuthardt said.<br/></p><p>That’s where the Ipsihand, a device developed by Washington University scientists, comes in. The Ipsihand comprises a cap that contains electrodes to detect electrical signals in the brain, a computer that amplifies the signals, and a movable brace that fits over the paralyzed hand. The device detects the wearer’s intention to open or close the paralyzed hand, and moves the hand in a pincer-like grip, with the second and third fingers bending to meet the thumb.</p><p>“Of course, there’s a lot more to using your arms and hands than this, but being able to grasp and use your opposable thumb is very valuable,” Huskey said. “Just because your arm isn’t moving exactly as it was before, it’s not worthless. We can still interact with the world with the weakened arm.”</p><p>Leuthardt played a key role in elucidating the basic science, and he worked with <a href="http://labs.seas.wustl.edu/bme/dmoran/">Daniel Moran</a>, a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University <a href="/Pages/home.aspx">School of Engineering & Applied Science</a>, to develop the technology behind the Ipsihand. He and Moran co-founded the company Neurolutions Inc. to continue developing the Ipsihand, and Leuthardt serves on the company’s board of directors. Neurolutions funded this study.</p><p>To test the Ipsihand, Huskey recruited moderately to severely impaired stroke patients and trained them to use the device at home. The participants were encouraged to use the device at least five days a week, for 10 minutes to two hours a day. Thirteen patients began therapy, but three dropped out due to unrelated health issues, poor fit of the device or inability to comply with the time commitment. Ten patients completed the study.</p><p>Participants underwent a standard motor skills evaluation at the start of the study and every two weeks throughout. The test measured their ability to grasp, grip and pinch with their hands, and to make large motions with their arms. Among other things, participants were asked to pick up a block and place it atop a tower, fit a tube around a smaller tube, and move their hands to their mouths. Higher scores indicated better function.</p><p>After 12 weeks of using the device, the patients’ scores increased an average of 6.2 points on a 57-point scale.</p><p>“An increase of six points represents a meaningful improvement in quality of life,” Leuthardt said. “For some people, this represents the difference between being unable to put on their pants by themselves and being able to do so.”</p><p>Each participant also rated his or her ability to use the affected arm and his or her satisfaction with the skills. Self-reported abilities and satisfaction significantly improved over the course of the study.</p><p>How much each patient improved varied, and the degree of improvement did not correlate with time spent using the device. Rather, it correlated with how well the device read brain signals and converted them into hand movements.</p><p>“As the technology to pick up brain signals gets better, I’m sure the device will be even more effective at helping stroke patients recover some function,” Huskey said.<br/></p><span><hr/></span><p>Bundy DT, Souders L, Baranyai K, Leonard L, Schalk G, Coker R, Moran DW, Huskey T, Leuthardt EC. Contralesional Brain-Computer Interface Control of a Powered Exoskeleton for Motor Recovery in Chronic Stroke Survivors. Stroke. May 26, 2017.</p><p>This study was funded by Neurolutions Inc. Eric Leuthardt and Daniel Moran co-founded the company. Leuthardt serves on the board of directors. David Bundy and Moran are consultants for Neurolutions.</p><p><a href="http://medicine.wustl.edu/">Washington University School of Medicine</a>‘s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of <a href="http://www.barnesjewish.org/">Barnes-Jewish</a> and <a href="http://www.stlouischildrens.org/">St. Louis Children’s</a> hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked seventh in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to <a href="http://www.bjc.org/">BJC HealthCare</a>.<br/></p>​ <div>​<br/></div><div> <br/> </div><div> <br/> </div><div> <br/> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Collaborators</h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Daniel-Moran.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Moran_Dan.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="Daniel Giammar" style="margin: 5px;"/></a><br/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Daniel-Moran.aspx"><strong>Daniel Moran</strong></a><br/> </strong> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Professor</span> </div><div> <strong> <br/> </strong> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong><a href="http://www.neurosurgery.wustl.edu/research/laboratories/leuthardt-lab-150"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Leuthardt,%20Eric.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a>​​</strong> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong> <a href="http://www.neurosurgery.wustl.edu/research/laboratories/leuthardt-lab-150"> <strong>Eric Leuthardt, MD</strong></a></strong> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Professor</span></div><div style="text-align: center;"> <br/> </div></div>  ​ <div>​​</div><div> <br/> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Media Coverage<br/></h3><div> <strong>DailyMail: </strong><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4546710/10-stroke-patients-regain-control-paralyzed-hands.html">Mind-control device lets 10 stroke patients regain control of their paralyzed hands - meaning some can even put on a pair of pants</a><br/></div><div> <br/> </div><div> <strong style="color: #343434;">The Telegraph:</strong><span style="color: #343434;"> </span><a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/05/26/mind-control-device-helps-stroke-patients-retrain-brains-move/" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">Mind-control device helps stroke patients retrain brains to move paralysed hands</a><br/><strong><strong style="color: #343434;"><br/>Medical Design Technology:</strong><span style="color: #343434;"> </span><a href="https://www.mdtmag.com/news/2017/05/mind-controlled-device-helps-stroke-patients-retrain-brains-move-paralyzed-hands" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">Mind-Controlled Device Helps Stroke Patients Retrain Brains to Move Paralyzed Hands</a></strong><br/><br/></div><div> <strong style="color: #343434;">Healthline News:</strong><span style="color: #343434;"> </span><a href="http://www.healthline.com/health-news/new-technology-may-help-stroke-patients-regain-some-movement" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">New Technology May Help Stroke Patients Regain Some Movement</a><br/></div><div> <br/> <strong style="color: #343434;">Medical Daily:</strong><span style="color: #343434;"> </span><a href="http://www.ehealthnews.eu/research/5262-mind-controlled-device-helps-stroke-patients-retrain-brains-to-move-paralyzed-hands" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">Mind-Controlled Device Powered By Brain Signals Helps Stroke Survivors Move Paralyzed Hands</a><br/> </div><div> <br/> </div><div> <strong style="color: #343434;">eHealthNews:</strong><span style="color: #343434;"> </span><a href="http://www.medicaldaily.com/mind-controlled-device-powered-brain-signals-helps-stroke-survivors-move-418143" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">Mind-Controlled Device Helps Stroke Patients Retrain Brains to Move Paralyzed Hands</a><br/><br/><strong>Stroke Allianance for Europe:</strong> <a href="http://www.safestroke.eu/2017/06/05/mind-controlled-device-helps-stroke-patients-retrain-brains-move-paralyzed-hands/">Mind-controlled device helps stroke patients retrain brains to move paralyzed hands</a><br/></div></div></span><br/></div><div> <br/> </div>​ <div></div></div> <br/>Medical resident Jarod Roland, MD, tries out a device that detects electrical activity in his brain and causes his hand to open and close in response to brain signals.Tamara Bhandarihttps://medicine.wustl.edu/news/bionic-hand-helps-stroke-patients-retrain-brains-control-paralyzed-limbs/2017-05-26T05:00:00ZStroke is the leading cause of acquired disability among adults. About 700,000 people in the United States experience a stroke every year, and 7 million are living with the aftermath.<p>​Device reads brain signals, converts them into motion<br/></p>

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