Center for Bionic Medicine - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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The Center for Bionic Medicine


Improving Rehabilitation Through Innovative Technology

CBM Hand

About the Center for Bionic Medicine

The Center for Bionic Medicine (CBM) is a research program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Our goal is to improve function and quality of life for individuals with amputations and other physical disabilities.

Comprising four integrated laboratories, our interdisciplinary team includes physicians, prosthetists, therapists, engineers, software developers, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students. With valuable input from our patients, we focus on creating clinically viable technologies that advance prosthesis design and control and allow individuals with amputations to live more independently.

CBM is also the recipient of a National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-sponsored RERC award. Our engineering center, TEAMM-RERC, focuses on improving technologies for individuals with a broad range of disabilities affecting manipulation and mobility.

Jesse Sullivan  Jesse Sullivan, who received the first TMR surgery
  in 2002. Click here to view a comprehensive
  TMR training video for surgeons.

  • Enhancing control of upper limb myoelectric prostheses through a surgical technique called Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR), in collaboration with Dr Gregory Dumanian, Northwestern University. CBM is pleased to offer a comprehensive training video for surgeons for TMR in individuals with transhumeral amputations. TMR surgery is now clinically available at RIC and other institutions.
  • Developing lightweight, powered multifunctional prosthetic arms and legs that are suitable for smaller individuals.
  • Refining pattern recognition technology—algorithms that learn and remember a person's specific muscle movements—to enable intuitive control of multifunctional arm, hand, and lower limb prostheses.
  • Evaluating new rehabilitation technologies, including robotic exoskeletons for individuals who have experienced stroke or spinal cord injury.

Research Highlights

Zac Vawter, who has a lower limb amputation, tests CBM control technology that helped him climb the Willis Tower. Ted Talk, July 2011, Todd Kuiken, MD, PhD, Director of CBM.

More videos about CBM research can be viewed at RIC's YouTube page.