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Research on Biomedical Engineering

Print version ISSN 2446-4732On-line version ISSN 2446-4740


SANTOS, Elgison da Luz dos et al. Artificial motor control for electrically stimulated upper limbs of plegic or paretic people. Res. Biomed. Eng. [online]. 2016, vol.32, n.2, pp.199-211.  Epub June 14, 2016. ISSN 2446-4732.

Introduction: Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is a technique used in the restoration and generation of movements performed by subjects with neuromuscular disorders such as spinal cord injury (SCI). The purpose of this article is to outline the state of the art and perspectives of the use of FES in artificial motor control of the upper limbs in paretic or plegic people.


The databases used in papers selection were Google Scholar and Capes’ Portals as well as proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society (IFESS).


Approximately 85% of the reviewed studies showed FES profile with pulse duration ranging from 1 to 300 μs and modulating (burst) frequency between 10 and 40 Hz. Regarding the type of electrodes, 88% of the studies employed transcutaneous electrodes.


We concluded that FES with closed-loop feedback and feedforward are the most used and most viable systems for upper limbs motor control, because they perform self-corrections slowing neuromuscular adaptation, allowing different planes and more range of movement and sensory-motor integration. One of the difficulties found in neuroprosthesis systems are electrical wires attached to the user, becoming uninteresting in relation to aesthetics and break. The future perspectives lead to a trend to miniaturization of the stimulation equipment and the availability of wireless networks, which allow the attachment of modules to other components without physical contact, and will become more attractive for daily use.

Keywords : Functional electrical stimulation; Spinal cord injury; Upper limb; Rehabilitation.

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