NEWS | 's Bionic Medicine Innovations Educate World Through First-Ever Conference and TED Talk - Oct 24, 2011 - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Published on October 21, 2011

RIC's Bionic Medicine Innovations Educate World Through First-Ever Conference and TED Talk

CHICAGO, IL—Pioneering work in bionic medicine at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), the nation's #1 ranked rehabilitation provider[i], reached around the world this October through the world's first conference on Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR), the procedure that supports bionic limb technology, and a TED TALK by Todd Kuiken, MD, PhD, who presented his work at TED GLOBAL, the renowned high-profile forum that explores ideas from today's visionaries that reaches a global audience through

"Bionics is where the stuff of life meets machine," said Kuiken, one of RIC's leading scientists, during the presentation, featured on on October 20. "Targeted Muscle Reinnervation is helping amputees regain ability to function in their daily lives and do it quicker, more naturally."

The pioneer of the TMR procedure and director of the Center for Bionic Medicine, Kuiken demonstrated RIC's pioneering advancements with the pattern recognition arm (PRA) with the assistance of former patient and research collaborator Amanda Kitts. A Tennessee mom and business owner, she lost her arm but received the TMR procedure and works continuously with Kuiken's team to improve and refine the technology.

TMR, which has evolved into a clinical procedure performed on more than 50 individuals worldwide, and has provided the impetus for development of new technologies, including pattern recognition, also being developed at RIC. At TED GLOBAL, Kitts showed how her pattern recognition arm (PRA) gave her even greater control and enabled her to perform advanced multi-functional tasks, such as using her elbow and her hand simultaneously, just by her thoughts.

Kitts also demonstrated her arm and answered questions for nearly 150 researchers, surgeons and other medical professionals including top surgeons from the U.S. military at the TMR conference in Chicago. Kuiken co-hosted the event with Dr. Gregory Dumanian of Northwestern University. The conference drew prosthetists, physicians, occupational and physical therapists, researchers, and engineers from 25 states and eight countries, including Israel, Sweden and China.

"TMR is now a concept that is gaining support and recognition," said Kuiken. "In this conference, it was not just us explaining the concept of TMR, but people around the country and around the world sharing their experience and improvements in the technique and prosthetic fittings."

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the nation’s leading provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world. Founded in 1953, RIC has been designated the “No. 1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. RIC sets the standard of care in the post-acute market through its innovative applied research and discovery programs, particularly in the areas of neuroscience, bionic medicine, musculoskeletal medicine and technology transfer. The AbilityLab — RIC’s new, state-of-the-art research hospital, will open in March 2017. 

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