Design, Implementation, and Validation of an Experimental Setup for Closed-Loop Functional Electrical Stimulation Applications


Spinal cord injury and stroke affect many people each year and can result in the loss of muscle function. Current research attempts to correct muscle paralysis through the use of mechanical braces or through open-loop stimulation methods. However, prosthetic systems that use closed-loop control strategies can offer improved functionality by accounting for the changing dynamics associated with the human body and external disturbances. In particular, closed-loop functional electrical stimulation (FES) offers the possibility of moving paralyzed muscles in a predetermined manner, allowing a paraplegic individual to regain the ability to perform some tasks. An experimental setup was designed for the development and testing of a closed-loop FES control system, as well as the characterization of muscle properties. Due to the complexities associated with using a human subject, an inverted pendulum model is utilized for this preliminary study. This model is a basic engineering control problem often used when studying postural control in humans. In particular, electrical stimuli will be applied to the gastrocnemius muscle of a frog in order to produce a contraction force that will drive an inverted pendulum and maintain its desired angle. The stimulation signal will be determined by control algorithms applied through the use of Matlab® and implemented in real-time with a data acquisition system. This setup will help provide an understanding of the muscle behavior and can be used to establish the validity of proposed controller methods.


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Thesis Completion





Leonessa, Alexander


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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