Virtual Reality Core

Dr. Martin Ferguson-Pell

is a biomedical engineer and credentialed clinical scientist. He has dedicated his academic career to the study of secondary complications of physical disability and studying underlying causes to reduce their incidence. He designed and developed a new Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory in the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy and uses virtual reality systems to simulate the biomechanical and physiological conditions faced by long-term wheelchair users and elite wheelchair athletes. This work includes the development of a novel approach to analyzing EMG from upper extremities and shoulders using wavelet + principal component analysis integrated into an FPGA system. The system can identify and measure, in real time, muscle fatigue and changes in muscle recruitment patterns. He also has an active research program through an AIHS Smart Neuro-prosthetics Team Grant for the detection of deep tissue injury using non-invasive spectroscopic methods. He uses both visible and infra-red spectroscopy, including Raman spectroscopy, and also ultrasonic elastography to measure changes in tissues associated with prolonged ischemia and the early onset of deep tissue damage.