Groundbreaking Spinal Cord Injury Research at Thomas Jefferson

July 8th, 2024

In partnership with The Raphael Center for Neurorestoration at Jefferson's Farber Institute, a team of Rothman Orthopaedics physicians have assisted on the creation of the NuroSleeve, a wearable device to restore movement in people with paralysis. Designed with patient feedback, the intelligent system provides dynamic, real-time, patient-controlled 3D-printed robotic-motorized assistance, electrical stimulation, and soft robotic pneumatics. The device addresses movement deficits from conditions like stroke and spinal cord injury and can be customized to each patient. It uses advanced controls like voice commands and muscle activity sensors, providing rehabilitation and everyday assistance. The NuroSleeve allows for remote therapeutic monitoring and enhances patient functionality and independence.

The Raphael NuroSleeve system is designed as a self-contained, wearable solution and does not require surgery to use. However, if a person has a severe motor impairment from cervical spinal cord injury or brainstem stroke, then the NuroSleeve is built to accept signals from an implanted brain sensor, such as being developed by Precision Neuroscience, Paradromics, Synchron and Neuralink.

The 3D-printed components are customized to each patient and are brought to life with the Raphael Neurorestoration FREEDOM microcontroller that can use voice commands, shoulder shrugs and other movements to trigger a motor, electrical stimulation, or soft pneumatics. Skilled occupational and physical therapists can teach people how to use the Raphael NuroSleeve both for rehabilitation (strengthening) and for everyday functional assistance to improve independence. The Raphael device logs activity use to give patients helpful feedback and to provide remote therapeutic monitoring to doctors, surgeons, and rehab therapists. 

To learn more about Rothman’s extensive history of groundbreaking research, visit our Research page. If you would like to make an appointment regarding any Spine issues, schedule with one of our Spine specialists on our Appointments page.

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