Stormie Garza

Major: 
Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: 
Dr. Vijay Vaidyanathan
Current Research Topic: 
Design of a Lower Extremity Exoskeleton to Improve Gait in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis by Reducing Knee Joint Loading
Abstract: 
Knee osteoarthritis is a common cause of disability in people over 65, including symptoms such as decreasing movement ability, pain and stiffness, worn cartilage, and walking instability. The purpose of this research is to create a lightweight and durable lower extremity exoskeleton that is comfortable for senior citizens suffering from knee OA. We propose a passive, lower extremity exoskeleton composed of a system of mechanical components that closely model human gait kinematics in order to provide necessary compensatory power and stability for elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis. Given the characteristics and needs of the patient, the interfacing between device and human patient is essential in functionally implementing it for use by the patient. This can be achieved by focusing on current exoskeletons and the materials previously used. Studying factors attributing problematic issues provide solutions to improving the mobility of knee OA patients.