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Project: Dynamic imaging to guide wearable robotic intervention for enhanced mobility in aging

Grant Number: National Institute on Aging R01-AG058615

Older adults walk slower and with a higher metabolic energy cost than younger adults, which reduces independence and quality of life. These functional impairments stem from precipitous reductions in ankle push-off power output that cannot be improved by conventional strength training. This project aims to introduce a novel, neuromechanical explanation for age-related reductions in walking performance investigating the efficacy of biologically-inspired ankle exoskeletons to improve gait performance and reduce metabolic energy cost during walking in older adults. Ultimately, this project will facilitate the use of dynamic tissue imaging for optimal prescription of assistive technology to improve locomotor function in our rapidly aging population – an outcome that will have significant positive impact on independence and quality of life for millions.

Key Collaborators

Jason R. Franz (PI), Gregory Stephen Sawicki