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 leading research program within the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Our goal is to improve the function and quality of life for individuals with amputation and other physical disabilities.

Currently, CBM is comprised of four integrated laboratories, each with a unique focus:

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 on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation (NIDILRR)-sponsored RERC award. Our engineering center, TEAMM-RERC, focuses on improving technologies for individuals with a broad range of disabilities affecting manipulation and mobility. Some ongoing research projects include:

TMR surgical training video

Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) surgical training

  • CBM is pleased to offer a comprehensive training video for surgeons regarding the TMR procedure. TMR surgery is now clinically available at Northwestern Memorial Hospital 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 featuring Dr. Todd Kuiken, MD, PhD, Director of CBM.

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