Navigation Links
NASA technology helping injured US troops

Patented NASA technology that originally enhanced robotics and sounding rockets is now aiding U.S. soldiers returning from overseas duty with spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The revolutionary new physical therapy device named SAM, for the Secure Ambulation Mode, is based on technology originally developed and honed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The late James Kerley created and patented the technology, consisting of short segments of flexible cable that connect to hardware, all of which allows joint-like, multidirectional movement and shock absorption. Allen Crane and Wayne Eklund teamed with Kerley in the 1990s to incorporate this "cable-compliant" system into a patented walker that supported the pelvis and imitated hip joint movement, which ultimately alleviated pain to injured patients by reducing the amount of weight placed on the legs.

In 2003, Enduro Medical Technologies, East Hartford, Conn., licensed these patented NASA technologies and modified the cable-compliant system into an advanced walker with a flexible harness that embraces the lower torso. "We felt SAM would be an ideal fit for Walter Reed because it makes the rehabilitation process less taxing on both the patient and the medical staff," said Enduro's president Ken Messier. According to Messier, SAM allows patients to stand or walk bearing various amounts of their own weight whether they have a sense of balance or not. "It allows them to stand without having three or four therapists helping them," explained Messier. "So it gets the patient up sooner in the rehabilitation process without a fear of falling and without injuries to the patient or staff."

According to Messier, one active military patient at Walter Reed who was wheelchair-bound for two years due to a spinal cord injury is now up and walking with SAM. "When we first put him in the walker, he was up and going for 25 minute s," explained Messier. "He's now walking for up to 25 minutes every day and even using SAM to perform exercises to strengthen his leg muscles."

The SAM walker, born by way of NASA's technology transfer program, also gives patients with degenerative conditions like severe arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's Disease, cerebral palsy, and Parkinson's Disease an opportunity to safely extend their mobility.

Former Army sergeant Herbert Geddis of Springfield, Va., used the SAM walker at Walter Reed as an integral part of his recovery from Neurosarcoid, a rare disease that afflicted his spine, taking away all of his lower body muscle strength. The condition, which developed after his military service, caused his knees to buckle during physical therapy.

"The SAM walker prevented my knees from buckling and helped me regain my mobility. I was able to graduate to the therapy on the parallel bars a lot quicker as a result," said Geddis. "NASA's technology in the walker's harness gave me the stability to do squats and knee raises I could never do before."

Physical therapists at Kindred Hospital of Greensboro, N.C., have discovered yet another use for the technology. "We use SAM with bariatric patients ?individuals who are remarkably overweight," said Mark Castleberry, Director of Rehabilitation Services. "We have two SAMs, and are currently using one to aid a gentleman who is over 600 pounds.

Castleberry explained that, "bariatric patients in long-term acute facilities like ours are bedridden and have not used their legs for quite some time. Their legs cannot support their body weight." Using SAM reduces the pressure on the legs, and allows them a chance for increased exercise until they are strong enough to stand on their own. "SAM helps us to help them strengthen their whole lower body. The technology has a lot of promise," said Castleberry.

"It's very important to NASA to facilitate licensing of our technologies when possible for the benefit of the broader community," said Nona Minnifield Cheeks, chief of Goddard's Office of Technology Transfer in Greenbelt, Md. "Our research and technology can and does often have useful applications beyond space-based exploration. We enjoy knowing that as a byproduct of our work, we directly help people right here on Earth to improve their quality of life."
'"/>

Source:NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


Related biology news :

1. Novel technology detects human DNA mutations
2. Novel antiviral technology inhibits RSV infection in mice
3. The BIOS Initiative - open source biotechnology is born
4. Revolutionary nanotechnology illuminates brain cells at work
5. Study: homemade gene expression technology unreliable
6. First technology to remove prions that cause vCJD from blood launched
7. Integration of Agilents MS technology, Proteome Systems software to help scientists in proteomics research
8. Agilent Technologies new genome analysis technology set to accelerate Australia fight against mesothelioma
9. Recombinant DNA technology may enable oral, rather than injectable, delivery of protein drugs
10. First production of human monoclonal antibodies in chicken eggs published in Nature Biotechnology
11. Vietnam war technology could aid elephant conservation

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/20/2017)... (NYSE: DAL ) customers now can use fingerprints instead of ... Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that launched in May ... boarding process to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members who are enrolled in ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an ... identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate as ... 15 thru May 17, 2017, in Washington ... Center. Identity impacts the lives of ... quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to ...
(Date:4/18/2017)...  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing ... M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing ... Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity ... for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ... digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are ... 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by ... in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
Breaking Biology Technology: