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Engineering Seminar: Dr. Brooke Odle

Friday, September 21, 2018 at 3:00pm

VanderWerf Hall, 104
27 Graves Place, Holland, MI 49423-3617

“How do the Upper Extremities Contribute to Standing Balance in
Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury?” by Dr. Brooke Odle, Postdoctoral
Fellow at Case Western Reserve University.

A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord and often results in partial or total paralysis of the trunk and lower extremity muscles. Peripheral nerve stimulation of the paralyzed trunk and lower extremities restores basic standing function in persons with motor and sensory disorders, enabling them to complete many activities of daily living. Currently implemented systems generate strength for standing, but do not dynamically adjust stimulation to maintain postural balance in response to perturbations. Maintaining balance or adjusting posture while standing requires using the arms to support weight and prevent falling over. Individuals hold onto an
assistive device, such as a walker. Developing advanced nerve stimulation control systems for enhancing balance during standing and walking after paralysis requires understanding how the upper extremities interact with assistive devices in real-world environments. In this talk, you will learn about preliminary experiments that were conducted to measure these interactions
while stimulation generates stance and how mathematical and musculoskeletal models were developed and tested to predict interactions between the participant and their assistive device.

Dr. Odle will also highlight how her undergraduate education, participation in mentored research programs, and a study abroad experience set her on a path for research in biomechanics and rehabilitation engineering.

Brooke Odle received the B.S. degree in Bioengineering from the University of
Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), the M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, NJ), and the doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University Biomedical and Health Science (Newark, NJ). She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH). In her most recent project, funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, she is developing and
validating mathematical models of how individuals with spinal cord injury use their upper extremities to interact with assistive devices while standing with peripheral nerve stimulation. These models will be utilized to design advanced nerve stimulation control systems for enhancing balance during standing and walking after paralysis. Brooke is also an advocate for STEM education and mentoring. She serves as the Principal Instructor for the Biomedical Engineering and Technology Track at the Accelerated
Learning Academy, an intensive academic and leadership program for forward-thinking high school students interested in the STEM fields, created by the W. E. B. Du Bois Scholars Institute at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ).

Event Type

Academics, Natural & Applied Sciences Division, Engineering

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