The Myo-Electric Controlled Functional Electrical Stimulation (MeCFES) is a research concept with the purpose of improving functionality of a paretic limb affected by a upper motor neurone lesion to control FES. The research question is to investigate was how and to what extend it could be used as a rehabilitation technique.

It started in 1994 as an Industrial Ph.D. project in Denmark, inspired by M.D. Fin Biering-Sørensen (Spinal Cord Unit, University Hospital of Copenhagen, DK). The project was in collaboration with The Technical University of Denmark, University Hospital of Copenhagen and Asah Medico A/S and realized the first single channel portable prototype which was tested by 5 people with tetraplegia to increase wrist extension.

Since 1997 the project has been part of the EU-funded project NEUROS where portable MeCFES prototypes were realized for research purpose, associated hard- and soft-ware along with experimental evidence for its functionality on the upper and lower extremity. Device and concept has been tested by people with a dropped foot due to either incomplete spinal cord lesion (4 legs tested) or stroke (10 legs tested) together with a reference group of normals (14 legs tested) and complete spinal cord injuried (3 legs tested). The results and data are abundant and provides information about several different issues related to FES, control, myoelectric signals and applications for MeCFES.

It has been carried out in collaboration between:

· [[Institute for BioMedical Technology (BMTI) of the University of Twente (the Netherlands) &

Roessingh Research & Development b.v., Enschede, the Netherlands,]]

· Centro di Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Italy,

· University College London, UK & Salisbury District Hospital,UK

From 2000 the project has continued as a part of the EU-funded project NeuralPROMyoelectrical controlled stimulation (MeCFES) is possible to momentarily increase tibial muscle strength in some stroke and spinal cord injured.

Results of the research can be found in the publication list:
http://www.thorsen.it/homepage/aboutme/publications.html

· Results indicate that the method may be used as therapy

· Better understanding of some of the problems in achieving a continuous control.

· The results on SCI and Stroke patients have been encouraging and the next phase should be to make it available to patients and rehabilitation professionals.