Nikolay Stoykov, PhD - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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  • 800,000+ outpatient visits each year
  • 5,000+ inpatients treated each year, system-wide
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  • 182-bed inpatient hospital in the heart of Chicago
  • Largest rehabilitation research center in the world
  • Only rehabilitation hospital with eight federally designated research centers
  • 370+ active research projects in neuroscience, bionics, robotics, and musculoskeletal medicine
  • Academic home of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Clinical Trials

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Nikolay Stoykov

Nikolay Stoykov, PhD

  • Research Scientist, SMPP, RIC
  • Research Assistant Professor, PM&R, Feinberg School of Medicine, NU



Education, Residency and Internship


Technical University Ilmenau, Ilmenau, Germany, MSc-Biomedical Engineering
Technical University Ilmenau, Ilmenau, Germany, PhD, Biomedical Engineering


Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Honors & Awards

Technical University Ilmenau, PhD magna cum laude, 1998


Journal Papers
Kuiken, TA; Stoykov, NS; Popovic, M; Lowery, M; Taflove, A. 2001. Finite element modeling of electromagnetic signal propagation in a phantom arm. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NEURAL SYSTEMS AND REHABILITATION ENGINEERING9 (4): 346-354.

Lowery, MM; Stoykov, NS; Taflove, A; Kuiken, TA. 2002. A multiple-layer finite-element model of the surface EMG signal. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING49 (5): 446-454.

Stoykov, NS; Lowery, MM; Taflove, A; Kuiken, TA. 2002. Frequency- and time-domain FEM models of EMG: Capacitive effects and aspects of dispersion. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING49 (8): 763-772.

Lowery, MM; Stoykov, NS; Kuiken, TA. 2003. A simulation study to examine the use of cross-correlation as an estimate of surface EMG cross talk. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY94 (4): 1324-1334.

Kuiken, TA; Lowery, MM; Stoykov, NS. 2003. The effect of subcutaneous fat on myoelectric signal amplitude and cross-talk. PROSTHETICS AND ORTHOTICS INTERNATIONAL27 (1): 48-54.

Lowery, MM; Stoykov, NS; Kuiken, TA. 2003. Independence of myoelectric control signals examined using a surface EMG model. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING50 (6): 789-793.

Stoykov, NS; Kuiken, TA; Lowery, MM; Taflove, A. 2003. Finite-element time-domain algorithms for modeling linear Debye and Lorentz dielectric dispersions at low frequencies. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING50 (9): 1100-1107.

Research Interests

helped develop a virtual-reality environment for rehabilitation of stroke survivors with impaired hand function. This project is conducted at MARS-RERC (Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center) and is part of the effort to develop hand technology involving reaching. I work with Professor Daria Tsoupikova from the Art and Architecture department at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Professor Randy Vick from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. We closely interact with the rest of the D2 team, which is led by Dr. Kamper and includes engineers and occupational therapists. My research interests also include modeling of bioelectric fields, an area in which I worked with Professor Allen Taflove from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University, Dr. Todd Kuiken at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), and Dr. Madeleine Lowery, formerly at RIC. My colleagues and I reexamined the validity of some common assumptions concerning the nature of such fields. It appears that they may be better understood and more accurately calculated within the framework of dispersive capacitive material properties than within the framework of purely resistive ones. We have developed and implemented numerical algorithms based on the finite element method to accommodate this new approach. This work was motivated by the study of the electrical fields of muscles after nerve transfer. The nerve transfer is a technique pioneered by Dr. Kuiken that allows residual muscles of an amputated limb to be used as biological amplifiers for neural control signals intended for the missing part of the limb. These signals can be utilized to control artificial limbs more intuitively and efficiently.

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