Kilgore, Kevin, PhD

Kevin-Kilgore-webResearch Statement

My primary research interest is in the application of functional electrical stimulation (FES) to provide disabled individuals with increased independence and improved quality of life. In particular, I have focused my work on FES as applied to cervical level spinal cord injury. These individuals have paralyzed muscles in both their hands and arms. FES can be used to produce grasp and release motions, allowing the individual to perform many tasks that they could not otherwise perform independently. I have three main areas of research that are ongoing at the present time:

  • Ongoing clinical feasibility trials of an implanted FES system for restoring hand and arm function in cervical spinal cord injury.
  • We are currently developing a flexible implantable FES system (Networked Neuroprosthesis) that can be used in a variety of applications (upper and lower extremity motor function, bowel/bladder function, spinal cord injury, stroke, etc.).
  • We are exploring various methods of electrically blocking nerve conduction to reduce spasticity in stroke or block pain in peripheral nerve injury.

Professional Affiliations

  • Associate Director of Technology, Cleveland FES Center
  • Program Manager, Department of Orthopaedics, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
  • Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Biomedical Engineer, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH

Publications (Select)

  • Kilgore KL, Bryden A, Keith MW, Hoyen HA, Hart RL, Nemunaitis GA, Peckham PH. Evolution of Neuroprosthetic Approaches to Restoration of Upper Extremity Function in Spinal Cord Injury. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2018 Summer;24(3):252-264. doi: 10.1310/sci2403-252. PubMed PMID: 29997428; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6037324.
  • Bryden A, Kilgore KL, Nemunaitis GA. Advanced Assessment of the Upper Limb in Tetraplegia: A Three-Tiered Approach to Characterizing Paralysis. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2018 Summer;24(3):206-216. doi: 10.1310/sci2403-206. PubMed PMID: 29997424; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6037326.
  • Bhadra N, Vrabec TL, Bhadra N, Kilgore KL. Reversible conduction block in peripheral nerve using electrical waveforms. Bioelectron Med (Lond). 2018 Jan;1(1):39-54. doi: 10.2217/bem-2017-0004. Epub 2017 Dec 14. Review. PubMed PMID: 29480897; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5811084.
  • Potter-Baker KA, Janini DP, Lin YL, Sankarasubramanian V, Cunningham DA, Varnerin NM, Chabra P, Kilgore KL, Richmond MA, Frost FS, Plow EB. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) Paired with massed practice training to promote adaptive plasticity and motor recovery in chronic incomplete tetraplegia: a pilot study. J Spinal Cord Med. 2017 Aug 7:1-15. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2017.1361562. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28784042.
  • Heald E, Hart R, Kilgore K, Peckham PH. Characterization of Volitional Electromyographic Signals in the Lower Extremity After Motor Complete Spinal Cord Injury. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2017 Apr 1:1545968317704904. doi: 10.1177/1545968317704904. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28443786.
  •  Vrabec T, Bhadra N, Acker G, Bhadra N, Kilgore K. Continuous Direct Current Nerve Block Using Multi Contact High Capacitance Electrodes. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2016 Jul 9. doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2016.2589541. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27411224.
  • Bryden AM, Hoyen HA, Keith MW, Mejia M, Kilgore KL, Nemunaitis GA. Upper Extremity Assessment in Tetraplegia: The Importance of Differentiating Between Upper and Lower Motor Neuron Paralysis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Jun;97(6 Suppl):S97-S104. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2015.11.021. PubMed PMID: 27233597.
  • Vrabec T, Bhadra N, Wainright J, Bhadra N, Franke M, Kilgore KCharacterization of high capacitance electrodes for the application of direct current electrical nerve block. Med Biol Eng Comput. 2015 Sep 11. [Epub ahead of  print] PubMed PMID: 26358242.
  • Lempka SF, McIntyre CC, Kilgore KL, Machado AG. Computational analysis of kilohertz frequency spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain management. Anesthesiology. 2015 Jun;122(6):1362–1376. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000000649 Pubmed PMID: 25822589
  • Franke M, Bhadra N, Bhadra N, Kilgore KL. Direct current contamination of kilohertz frequency alternating current waveforms. J Neurosci Methods. 2014 Jul 30;232:74-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.04.002. Epub 2014 May 10. PubMed PMID: 24820914; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4069243.
  • Ho CH, Triolo RJ, Elias AL, Kilgore KL, DiMarco AF, Bogie K, Vette AH, Audu ML, Kobetic R, Chang SR, Chan KM, Dukelow S, Bourbeau DJ, Brose SW, Gustafson KJ, Kiss ZHT, Mushahwar VK. Functional electrical stimulation and spinal cord injury. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2014 Aug;25(3):631–654, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2014.05.001 Pubmed PMID: 25064792
  • Lothet EH, Kilgore KL, Bhadra N, Bhadra N, Vrabec T, Wang YT, Jansen ED, Jenkins MW, Chiel HJ. Alternating current and infrared produce an onset-free reversible nerve block. Neurophotonics. 2014 Jul;1(1):011010. doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.1.1.011010 Pubmed PMID: 26157966
  • Memberg WD, Polasek KH, Hart RL, Bryden AM, Kilgore KL, Nemunaitis GA, Hoyen HA, Keith MW, Kirsch RF. Implanted neuroprosthesis for restoring arm and hand function in people with high level tetraplegia. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Jun;95(6):1201-1211.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.01.028. Epub 2014 Feb 20. PubMed PMID: 24561055.
  • Kilgore KL, Bhadra N. Reversible Nerve Conduction Block Using Kilohertz Frequency Alternating Current. Neuromodulation. 2013 Aug 7. doi: 10.1111/ner.12100. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23924075.
  • Peckham PH, Kilgore KL. Challenges and opportunities in restoring function after paralysis. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2013 Mar;60(3):602-9. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2013.2245128. Epub 2013 Mar 7. PubMed PMID: 23481680.
  • Vrabec T, Wainright J, Bhadra N, Kilgore KL.  Use of High Surface Area Electrodes for Safe Delivery of Direct Current for Nerve Conduction Block, ECS Trans. 50(28): 31-37, 2013.
  • Foutz TJ, Ackermann DM Jr, Kilgore KL, McIntyre CC. Energy efficient neural stimulation: coupling circuit design and membrane biophysics. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51901. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051901. Epub 2012 Dec 13. PubMed PMID: 23272188; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3521743.
  • Knutson JS, Chae J, Hart RL, Keith MW, Hoyen HA, Harley MY, Hisel TZ, Bryden AM, Kilgore KL, Peckham H. Implanted neuroprosthesis for assisting arm and hand function after stroke: a case study. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(10):1505-16. PubMed PMID: 23516054; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3605749.

Co-Investigator Research Programs

  • FES Control of the Extremities in Spinal Cord Injury, Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service
  • Restoration of Hand and Arm Function by Neuromuscular Stimulation, National Institutes of Health
  • Neurostimulation and Neuromodulation Partnership, State of Ohio
  • A Novel Waveform for Electrical Nerve Conduction Block

Contact Information

Contact Name: Laura Polacek
Contact Number: (216) 957-3368
Contact Email: