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PhD Defence Kostas Nizamis

hand neuro-motor characterization and motor intention decoding in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Kostas Nizamis is a PhD student in the department of Biomechanical Engineering. His supervisor is prof.dr.ir. H.F.J.M. Koopman from the Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET).

The hand is a very complex and versatile tool, which allows humans to interact with their immediate environment, engage in daily life activities and socialize. Individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), experience years of deteriorated hand function, leading to severe dependence on caregivers. Robotic exoskeletons can provide a feasible solution for the active hand support of individuals with DMD. My work describes the development of a hand exoskeleton that meets the specific needs of individuals with DMD, in order to raise their quality of life and social participation and acceptance. To this end, in the Symbionics project we developed the SymbiHand orthosis; an active wearable hand exoskeleton for people with DMD. My role in this project was the characterization of the hand neuro-motor function in DMD and the development and application of robust hand motor intention decoding, for the control of the SymbiHand.