Rehabilitative and Assistive Technology: Research Activities and Scientific Advances

Institute Activities and Advances

The National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) is the primary NICHD funding source for research on rehabilitative and assistive technology. The NCMRR is developing and supporting the application of devices to improve the human-environment interface and to restore or enhance an individual’s capacity to function in his or her environment. This type of applied research and rehabilitation technology includes, but is not limited to, prosthetics, wheelchairs, biomechanical modeling, and other devices that aim to enhance mobility, communication, cognition, and environmental control.

Specific examples of current funding areas include the following:

  • Development of technologies that promote healthy, independent living for people with disabilities (PAR-11-021)
  • Engineering of control devices for upper limb movement (NIH-NICHD-NCMRR-2011-15)
  • Development of advanced neural prosthetics (PAR-12-053)
  • Bioengineering research partnerships for basic, applied, and translational multidisciplinary research that addresses important biological, clinical, or biomedical research problems, including rehabilitation and assistance for people with disabilities (PAR-10-234)

Other current areas of support can be found at the NCMRR website.

Advances that have resulted from NCMRR funding exemplify the range of the center’s interests within rehabilitative and assistive technology. Examples are listed below.

Rehabilitative Technology

Assistive Technology

Read more examples of NCMRR-sponsored research advances in rehabilitative technology.

Other Activities and Advances

The Medical Rehabilitation Research Infrastructure Network, funded through the NCMRR with additional support from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the NIBIB, builds research infrastructure in medical rehabilitation by providing investigators with access to collaborative opportunities from allied disciplines such as neuroscience, engineering, applied behavior, and the social sciences.

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