The initial trial of the NIHCC-developed pediatric exoskeleton shows improvement in crouch gait:
Agilik Crouch Gait Trial with the NIH
The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (NIHCC) Functional & Applied Biomechanics Section created a new prototype exoskeleton for children with crouch gait from cerebral palsy and conducted a trial in 2017 that showed walking with their device resulted in “improvements in knee extension in six of seven participants with gains (8° to 37°) similar to or greater than those reported from invasive surgical interventions (2, 3).”4
Researchers at the Functional and Applied Biomechanics Section in the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center are committed to developing and testing wearable exoskeleton devices for improving walking in children with cerebral palsy as well as other pediatric disorders that affect mobility such as muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and incomplete spinal cord injury, among others. Recently, Agilik has established a partnership with NIH to test the effectiveness of our ExoStep device for pediatric rehabilitation.
Read their initial findings here:
A lower-extremity exoskeleton improves knee extension in children with crouch gait from Cerebral Palsy
A Robotic Exoskeleton for Treatment of Crouch Gait in Children With Cerebral Palsy: Design and Initial Application
The Effects of Exoskeleton Assisted Knee Extension on Lower-Extremity Gait Kinematics, Kinetics, and Muscle Activity in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Bulea2016 – Exergaming with a Pediatric Exoskeleton Facilitating Rehabilitation and Research in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Part 2: Adaptation of Gait Kinematics in Unilateral Cerebral Palsy Demonstrates Preserved Independent Neural Control of Each Limb
The Agilik™ ExoStep™ powered orthosis is simple and streamlined, taking advantage of more mature technology and hardware that is currently in small-batch manufacturing and real-world testing with the Canadian and United States militaries.
Agilik’s study with the NIHCC is specifically examining the effect on gait while patients, with crouch gait due to spastic diplegia, are wearing our device and the therapeutic effect on gait after it’s removed. The anticipated endpoints are improved knee extension and less energy expenditure during gait.
Agilik is preparing for further clinical trials as required by regulatory bodies to prove effectiveness over the next 12 to 24 months. We aim to have a commercially available device by 2021.
The NIH Clinical Center is a federal agency under Health and Human Services and does not endorse any commercial services, commodities, or products.
(2) C. De Mattos, K. P. Do, R. Pierce, J. Feng, M. Aiona, M. Sussman, Comparison of hamstring transfer with hamstring lengthening in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy: Further follow-up. J. Child. Orthop. 8, 513–520(2014). Google Scholar
(3) J. L. Stout, J. R. Gage, M. H. Schwartz, T. F. Novacheck, Distal femoral extension osteotomy and patellar tendon advancement to treat persistent crouch gait in cerebral palsy. J. Bone Joint Surg. Am. 90, 2470–2484 (2008).
(4)Z. F. Lerner, D. L. Damiano, T. C. Bulea, A lower-extremity exoskeleton improves knee extension in children with crouch gait from cerebral palsy. Sci. Transl. Med. 9, 404, eaam9145 (2017).