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 modular 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 pursuing making this system the first open source modular implant for human use – see
  • We are exploring various methods of electrically blocking nerve conduction to reduce spasticity in stroke or block pain in peripheral nerve injury.
  • Implantable health monitoring for the identification of disease states and, eventually, the treatment of those disease states

Research Programs

  • Restoration of Hand and Arm Function by Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation, National Institutes of Health
  • Cleveland Open Source Modular Implant Innovator’s Community (COSMIIC)
  • Augmenting Implanted Neuroprostheses with Targeted Health Monitoring for Spinal Cord Injury, National Institutes of Health


Entire publication list can be found here.




Associate Director
Cleveland FES Center

Case Western Reserve University
Depts. Orthopaedics and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Biomedical Engineer
Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center


Program Contact
Rocio Berrones

Contact Number
(216) 957-3683

Contact Email,