Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research
Taking Steps Toward Recovery
We enhance quality of life for individuals with motor disabilities through translational research and the development of assistive technology that improves mobility and motor function and enhances their ability to participate in school, work, and community activities.
Rehabilitation Robotics and Research Laboratory
Senior Research Scientist
Musculoskeletal Biomotion Laboratory
Neural Plasticity Laboratory
Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Laboratory
Advanced Rehabilitation Neuroimaging Laboratory
Restoring Mobility through Gait and Balance Training
Restoring balance and mobility is an important first step toward recovery for individuals with disabilities caused by spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, arthritis and brain injury. Our scientists apply new technologies that advance rehabilitative care, including robotics, functional electrical stimulation, virtual reality, and the unique research capabilities of the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation.
Moving Robotics into Clinical Care
Our scientists have conducted pioneering research in different types of wearable robotics, including the Ekso GT, ReWalk, and Indego. The focus of their robotics research extends beyond restoring mobility to the impact on common complications that affect quality of life, including bone loss, muscle weakness, loss of bowel and bladder function, chronic pain, and sexual dysfunction.
Healing Children with TBI Through Technology
Our research shows that robotic exoskeleton training has the potential for tremendous impact on walking ability, community participation, and quality of life for individuals with brain injury. In a study of adolescents and young adults, participants train in the robotic exoskeleton and wear a Fitbit to record their daily activities. Scientists evaluate the brain changes that occur during motor recovery using a portable, noninvasive technology called fNIRS (functional near infrared spectroscopy). Understanding the changes in brain activity after injury and during recovery helps us design more effective rehabilitation protocols..
Demonstrating Efficacy of Rehabilitation Interventions
During her visit to the Foundation, New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy witnessed the impact of Kessler Foundation's research first hand. She received a demonstration of the efficacy of several rehabilitation interventions including spacial neglect and an exoskeleton worn by Natalie B., a young woman with paralysis caused by traumatic spinal cord injury.
Helping Cancer Survivors Overcome Fatigue and Weakness
Despite advances in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer, many, like Angela Smith, live with fatigue and weakness long after treatment is complete. By studying the mechanisms involved in muscle strengthening, Kessler Foundation scientists are finding new ways to enhance physical conditioning, combat lasting symptoms, and restore active lives. Findings may improve outcomes for cancer survivors, and other populations affected by fatigue and weakness.
Ghaith Androwis, PhD, customizes assistive devices for wheelchair users with a 3D printer
Improving Mobility for Children with Disabilities
Finding solutions for improving mobility for children with disabilities requires a tailored approach to rehabilitation research. In collaboration with Children’s Specialized Hospital, researchers are testing ways to use 3D printing to customize assistive devices, and studying ways to minimize physical stress for young wheelchair users, enabling them to engage safely in school and community life.
Improving Outcomes for Cancer Survivors
Researchers at Kessler Foundation are studying a new way to help breast cancer survivors who experience weakness and fatigue long after their treatment has ended.