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.

Areas of Interest

  • 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.

The goal of the BrainGate research and development project is to identify the core methods and features for a medical device that could allow people with paralysis to recover a multitude of abilities that normally rely on the hands.

Research Programs

  • User-based Control of FES-based Standing Neuroprosthesis, Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation, Research and Development Service
  • Restoration of Hand and Arm Function by Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation, National Institutes of Health
  • Controller Development for Upper Limb Movement

Publications (Select)

Entire publication list can be found here.

  • Bhadra N, EL Foldes, MR Gerges, DM Ackermann Jr., N Bhadra, KL Kilgore.  Counted cycles method to measure the block inception time of kiloHertz frequency mammalian motor nerve block.  Journal of Neuroscience.  Available online 26 December 2019, 108561.
  • Bhadra N, Vrabec TL, Kilgore KL, Bhadra N.  Activation of the sciatic nerve evoked during epidural spinal cord stimulation in the rodent.  Bioelectronics in Medicine, accepted, 2019.
  • Davidson IU, Quinones DJ, Haines CM, Kilgore KL, Keith MW, Moore, TA.  A Rare Case of Cervical Charcot After Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Report, JBJS Case Connector: December 2, 2019, doi: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.18.00362.
  • Heald E, Kilgore KL, Hart RL, Moss C, Peckham PH.  Myoelectric signal from below the level of spinal cord injury as a command source for an implanted upper extremity neuroprosthesis - a case report, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 16(1):100. doi:10.1186/s12984-019-0571-3, 2019.
  • Vrabec TL, Eggers TE, Foldes EL, Ackermann DM, Kilgore KL, Bhadra N.  Reduction of the onset response in kilohertz frequency alternating current nerve block with amplitude ramps from non-zero amplitudes.  J NeuroEng & Rehab. 16:80, 2019.
  • Wilson RD, Bryden AM, Kilgore KL, Makowski N, Bourbeau D, Kowalski KE, DiMarco AF, Knutson JS.  Neuromodulation for Functional Electrical Stimulation.  Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2019 May;30(2):301-318. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2018.12.011. Review, 2019.
  • Vrabec TL, Wainright JS, Bhadra N, Shaw L, Kilgore KL, Bhadra N.  A Carbon Slurry Separated Interface Nerve Electrode (CSINE) for Electrical Block of Nerve Conduction.  IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, May;27(5):836-845. doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2019.2909165. Epub 2019 Apr 4. 2019.
  • Bullard, A, Nason SR, Irwin Z, Nu C, Smith B, Campean A, Peckham PH, Kilgore KL, Willsey M, Patil P, Chestek CA, Design and Testing of a 96-Channel Neural Interface Module for the Networked Neuroprosthesis System, Bioelectronic Medicine, Feb 15;5(1):3, 2019.
  • Roldan LM, Eggers TE, Kilgore KL, Bhadra N, Vrabec T, Bhadra N.  Measurement of block thresholds in kilohertz frequency alternating current peripheral nerve block, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Mar 1;315:48-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2019.01.002. Epub 2019 Jan 11. 2019.


Associate Director of Technology
Cleveland FES Center

Case Western Reserve University

Biomedical Engineer
Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Program Manager, Department of Orthopaedics
MetroHealth Medical Center


Program Contact
Laura Polacek

Contact Number
(216) 957-3368

Contact Email,