Jacqueline Hebert, MD, FRCPC
Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Deptment of Medicine - PhysMedRehab
Dr. Hebert is the director of the Bionic Limbs for Improved Natural Control (BLINC) Lab, and has research appointments at the University of Alberta and a clinical appointment at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.
Dr. Hebert leads the interdisciplinary clinical team that performs upper limb Targeted Reinnervation (TR) surgery in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Her research team studies advanced motor control and sensory feedback systems for upper limb myoelectric devices, with a focus on using technology to quantify and improve outcomes following limb amputation. Dr. Hebert is also the Program Director for the NSERC CREATE in Sensory Motor Rehabilitative Technology (SMART), a new industry-informed, interdisciplinary training program which equips trainees with the practical knowledge essential to succeed in a rapidly adapting, team-based technological environment and inclusive society.
- Targeted re-innervation for upper limb amputation
- Sensory feedback systems for myoelectric prostheses
- Myoelectric Training: The Bento Arm - a clinical and research platform
- Gaze and Movement Assessment (GaMA) - quantitative measurement of upper limb sensory motor performance
- Outcome metrics for upper limb prosthetic performance
- Osseointegration for percutaneous attachment of prosthetic limbs
Research - Gaze and Movement Assessment
A quantitative outcome metric for upper limb sensory-motor function was developed that sensitively measures the visuomotor attention and movement behaviour of upper limb function. GaMA has been used to show differences in visuomotor behaviour with advanced sensory-motor upper limb prostheses. GaMA is now being translated to other research institutions to use for measuring outcomes.GaMA
Teaching - NSERC CREATE in Sensory-Motor Adaptive Rehabilitation Technology (SMART)
NSERC CREATE in Sensory Motor Rehabilitative Technology (SMART) is a world-class, industry-informed, interdisciplinary training program which equips trainees with the practical knowledge essential to succeed in a rapidly adapting, team-based technological environment and inclusive society. This is a six year NSERC funded training grant involving 4 faculties, lead by Dr. Hebert as the Program Director.SMART CREATE
Research - Sensory-Motor Integration for Myoelectric Prostheses
Myoelectric prostheses have undergone extensive developments in their complexity and movement patterns, yet controlling these devices can be difficult as they lack the sensory feedback provided by traditional body powered prostheses. With targeted muscle reinnervation surgery, sensory nerves are relocated into the skin so that when touched on part of the reinnervated skin, the patient feels as though they are being touched on their missing limb. In previous work the BLINC group has shown that this restored hand map can be harnessed to provide feedback to the patient such that when they grip something with a robotic hand, a tactor pushes into their reinnervated skin and they feel as if they are gripping the object directly. We have also shown that movement sensations can be transmitted back to the user, reducing visual attention and normalizing visuomotor behaviour.
BLINC: Sensory feedback systems for myoelectric prostheses
Research - The Bento Arm
The original Myoelectric Training Tool (MTT) is both functional and inexpensive, but has an un-anatomical appearance and limited payload. To overcome these issues an improved robotic arm, called the “Bento Arm”, was designed specifically for myoelectric training and research applications. The Bento Arm includes five (5) degrees of freedom (shoulder rotation, elbow flexion, wrist rotation, wrist flexion, hand open/close) to match both commercially available and future anticipated myoelectric components.
The arm was designed to be 1:1 scale to anatomical proportions. The stronger MX-series of Dynamixel actuators allow for increased payloads and include integrated position and velocity joint feedback and control. Anthropomorphic arm shells were designed using 3D scanning technology to improve the aesthetics of the arm and allow it to be more easily visualized as an arm. A quick disconnect wrist was specified as the wrist connector to allow commercial myoelectric hands to be interchanged with custom grippers.
Two different software interfaces for the Bento Arm were developed including one that uses MATLAB’s xPC target with a Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI) and another that uses Robotic Operating System (ROS) with a Linux GUI. The prototype of the Bento Arm was 3D printed and tested with the ROS interface and was fitted with a SensorHand Speed (Ottobock, Inc.). Although the arm was primarily designed to be desk mounted we have also interfaced the prototype to a transhumeral socket to verify that it can be worn by amputee subjects in research trials.BLINC: The Bento Arm