XI EXTERNAL CONTROL
OF HUMAN EXTREMITIES

The External Control of Human Extremities (ECHE) story started 60 years ago when a group of enthusiastic clinicians, scientists, and engineers from all over the world began researching and developing Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) devices, advanced prosthesis, and exoskeletons based on the fascinating discoveries in neurosciences. This work aimed to develop therapies to restore movement to those with motor deficits through the use of electrical stimulation and humanoid robotics. Since 1963, the group regularly met at ECHE I-X, organized by the Yugoslav Society for Electronics, Telecommunications, Automation and Nuclear engineering (ETAN). This year the XI ECHE meeting, 31 years after the tenth meeting, will shed light on the remarkable contributions to the field presented in the ECHE Proceedings series by the expert who participated in the series.

The XI ECHE is a satellite meeting of the 24th Annual Conference of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society and the Summer School “Wearable robotics in rehabilitation”. 

We greatly appreciate to several of our friends and colleagues, pioneers in the field who contributed to the Dubrovnik ECHE I-X meetings willingness to come and share their memories with the new generation working in a different era where many dreams became a reality due to enlarged understanding in the field of restorative neurology and much-improved technology in the Industry 4.0 time.

The Society for ETRAN is the main organizer of XI ECHE.

SPEAKERS

General information about the speakers

Milan R. Dimitrijević

Emeritus Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas USA

Foundation for Movement Recovery, Oslo, Norway

Dr. Dimitrijević founded the field of Restorative Neurology and contributor to the area of Human Neurosciences. During his fifty years of clinical and neurological work he worked to develop Human Neurophysiology as well as mentored hundreds of post-graduates working in the early development of a new branch of Neurological practices and science. Born in Nis, Serbia Dr. Dee received his MD in 1955 and his Ph.D. in 1966 from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1955. He continued with post-doctoral training in clinical neurophysiology at the Stockholm School of Medicine and University Hospital in Ljubljana. He completed a fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology, the Schools of Medicine in Marseilles, France, and Linkoping, Sweden. Dr. Dimitrijevic was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Warsaw Medical Academy, Poland and Linkoping University, Sweden. He also completed fellowships in Radiochemistry at the Institute of Nuclear Science at the University of Belgrade and Neurology at Queens Square in London. He has held many posts but most recently as the Vivian L. Smith Professor and Division Head of the Division of Restorative neurology and Human Neurobiology at Baylor College of Medicine, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also the Principal Investigator for the Foundation of Movement Recovery in Oslo, Norway. Professor Dr. Dimitrijević has published 224 research reports, 380 articles in peer review journals, fifty-six chapters, five books, 10.240 citations.

Alojz Kralj

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Alojz Kralj received Dipl. Ing., M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees in 1961, 1969, and 1970, from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and is Professor Emeritus. His major research aims were studies of functional electrical stimulation for rehabilitation of stroke, and spinal cord injured persons, but also in industrial robotics. 

In 1973 he was Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and in 1974 Visiting Assistant Professor at Krusen Center for Research, Philadelphia. From 1981 to 1982 he was Visiting Professor at the Faculty for Electrical Engineering, and from fall of 1982 to 1986 with Pritzker Institute of Medical Engineering, at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. In 1978 he started teaching Industrial robotics, founded the Laboratory of Biomedical Engineering (1972) and started the Laboratory of Robotics (1978) at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Prof. Kralj as Rector leaded the University of Ljubljana from 1995 until 1998. He published numerous journal and conference papers, and text books in the field of electronics, biomedical engineering and robotics. Together with prof. Tadej Bajd he published the first book on Functional Electrical Stimulation of Spinal Cord Injured Patients (CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 1989). Dr. Kralj has received several awards, the 10th Anniversary plaque of the Italian Association of Medical and Biological Engineering, the award of Shinsu University in Japan and the award Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia in Science. In 1992 he was elected to the grade IEEE Fellow for his contribution in functional electrical stimulation and gait rehabilitation, and in 2009 he received the Slovenia prestigious Zois Award for his life contribution in the field of electrical engineering.  He was   member of IEEE, ISEK, ESEM and IFMBE. Dr. Kralj is from 1993 associate member and from 1997 regular member of the Slovenian Academy for Sciences and Arts, and served as Vice President of the Academy from 1999 to 2002. In 2009 he was elected as member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Tadej Bajd

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana and Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Tadej Bajd received Dipl.Ing., M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees from Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1972, 1976, and 1979, respectively. He was a Research Assistant at J. Stefan Institute in Ljubljana (1972-77), a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (1981), and Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1984). He is Professor Emeritus at Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana, where he served also as Vice-Dean (1985-89) and Dean (1999-03). He is author and coauthor of over 100 journal papers and several monographs on functional electrical stimulation and robotics. Professor Bajd received several national awards for his scientific achievements in the field of functional electrical stimulation for paralyzed subjects. He is Fellow of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), Fellow of AIMBE (American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering), and Fellow of EAMBES (European Alliance for Medical and Biological Engineering and Science). He is also member of European Academy of Sciences and Arts, International Academy of Engineering and Slovenian Academy of Engineering.  Professor Bajd is President of Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Roberto Merletti

Former Full Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Dept. of Electronics, Politecnico di Torino, Italy (retired Nov 2015)

Former Director of the Lab. for Engineering of the Neuromuscular System (LISiN), Politecnico di Torino, Italy (retired Nov 2015)

Corresponding member of the Slovenian Academy of sciences and arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Prof. Roberto Merletti graduated in Electronics Engineering from Politecnico di Torino, Italy, and obtained his M.Sc. and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the The Ohio State University.  He has been Visiting Researcher at the Faculty for Electrical Engineering of Ljubljana University, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, were he was also Research Associate at the NeuroMuscular Research Center. He has been Full Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino where he established, in 1996, the Laboratory for Engineering of the Neuromuscular System (LISiN) of which he has been Director up to 2015. He has trained at LISIN more than 70 researchers (15 doctoral students) from various countries. He coordinated two EU projects and has been a partner in five projects. His research activity covered neuromuscular electrical stimulation, surface electromyography and its applications in prevention, rehabilitation, ergonomics, and sport. This activity led to over 200 peer reviewed publications and five textbooks. He is now developing the website www.robertomerletti.it with free teaching material aimed at clinical rehabilitation operators and is coordinating the Frontiers Editorial Project “Surface Electromyography: barriers limiting widespread use of sEMG in clinical assessment and neurorehabilitation. https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/11157.

Winfried Mayr

Professor, Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Austria (retired Oct 2020)

Prof. Winfried Mayr received his Diploma in Electronics and Control Engineering from Vienna University of Technology in 1983. His works focused on Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and rehabilitation engineering, mainly at Vienna Medical University. His Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering was on “Reactivation of paralyzed muscles by FES implants” (1992) and included experimental and applied research on phrenic nerve pacing, lower extremity, pelvic floor and denervated muscles. Work in the subsequent years was dedicated mainly on non-invasive FES of lower extremity in paraplegia and clinical bed-rest, and upper extremity. Outcome of the European Project RISE on FES of denervated muscles, an initiative with 20 partners under his coordination, was development of a novel clinical methods and associated equipment for rehabilitation after flaccid paraplegia. His special current focus is spinal cord stimulation for modification of spasticity and restoration of movement after SCI. Between 2009 and 2017 he chaired the Austrian Society for Biomedical Engineering, currently vice-chair. He is the councilor of the EAMBES, the roof organization of European Biomedical Engineering Society. He is the foundation member and board member of the IFESS.

Dejan Popović

Professor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade and Emeritus Professor, Aalborg University, Denmark, Member of the Serbian academy of sciences and arts, Belgrade, Serbia; Corresponding member of the Slovenian academy of sciences and arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Born in 1950 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (Serbia). Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) since 2009, Belgrade, Serbia; Member of the Academy of Engineering Sciences (AINS), Belgrade, Serbia since 2004; Professor Emeritus, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark since 2016, Corresponding member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia. He published about 500 papers (130 journal publications), 34 book chapters, 9 textbooks, and many conference papers). His papers were cited more than 8150 times. h=48 (Google Scholar). He led the research that resulted with eight patent applications. Several of his research results were translated to clinical or home use. He supervised more than 25 PhD and about 100 MSc students. He developed the Laboratory for biomedical engineering and technologies (http://bmit.etf.rs). He is the associate editor: Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing Member of the review board of Medical Engineering and Physics and Journal of Neuromodulation. He is the Editor of the Journal of Automatic Control, University of Belgrade. He is the Founding and Life Member of the IFESS; Fellow and Founding member of the AEMBES, President of the Serbian Society for Electronics, Automatics and Computer Engineering (ETRAN).

XI ECHE PROGRAM

SATURDAY - SEPTEMBER 25, 2021

  • 8:00 - 9:00

registration

Dejan Popović
  • 9:00 - 10:30

Dejan Popović

The History of Dubrovnik meetings: ECHE I-X

Roberto Merletti
  • 9:00 - 10:30

Roberto Merletti

Functional electrical stimulation: The need for education

  • 10:30 -11:00

Coffee Break

Tadej Bajd
  • 11:00 - 12:30

Tadej Bajd

Analysis and synthesis of standing-up movements

Alojz Kralj
  • 11:00 - 12:30

Alojz Kralj

Multichannel functional electrical stimulation for gait rehabilitation

  • 12:30 - 14:00

Lunch Break (Free time)

Milan R. Dimitrijević
  • 14:00 - 15:20

Milan R. Dimitrijević

Human spinal cord network and “spinal brain”

Winfried Mayr
  • 14:00 - 15:20

Winfried Mayr

Stimulation of denervated muscles

  • 15:20 - 15:40

Coffee Break

  • 15:40-17:00

Sponsor time and Public presentation

  • 17:00 - 18:00

closing of events

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