Participants in a gait study of the Neural Sleeve by Cionic demonstrated, on average, an improvement in their foot drop of 143%, Cionic reports.

The Neural Sleeve is an algorithm-powered bionic clothing designed to help those with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and other neurological disorders regain functional movement in their everyday activities, a media release from the company explains.

“It’s been incredible to see participants not just walk more confidently but also show quantitative improvements in their gait. Our participants are seeing 1.5x gain in dorsiflexion at heel strike, which means they’re clearing their foot through swing better, have a better chance to avoid falls, and have a more natural gait cycle. This is a tremendous step in building a scalable neuromodulation platform to help people with movement disorders leverage their own bodies and rebuild neural pathways for greater independence.”

— Jeremiah Robison, Founder and CEO of Cionic

“This month, we completed both our human factors and efficacy testing and we are now ready to submit our Neural Sleeve to the FDA,” Robison continues. “This is a huge milestone for the company. So much invention and hard work has gone into this first product, and we cannot wait to bring it to the many people living with a gait impairment.”

Trial participant Patricia Allen survived a stroke in 2019 that drastically affected her mobility, especially the ability to negotiate stairs. She has used a quad-cane and an ankle-foot orthotic with less than satisfactory results. During one of her trial sessions, Cionic recorded Patricia’s data while she walked outside in San Francisco.

“They’re just a great group of people. What Cionic is doing is a garment-type design so it’s not so obtrusive when you’re wearing it,” Allen shares. “My last visit I actually went out on the streets in North Beach in San Francisco, heavy population, all the flavors of San Francisco, and it was a feeling of inspiration for me that I haven’t felt for two and a half years. It was an impactful moment for me, and I am encouraged by what they’re doing, what the product is, and how it’s developing.”

How it Works

The Cionic Neural Sleeve analyzes, predicts, and augments a person’s movement. Using advanced algorithms, the system reads the signal sent from the brain to the muscles and can predict a person’s movement 1/10th of a second before their foot lifts off the ground.

The lower-leg Neural Sleeve uses a dense array of sensors to measure how the body is positioned and how individual muscles fire during movement, predicts intended movement by measuring the electrical signal from the brain, and then algorithms analyze this data in real time to determine optimal muscle activation patterns.

Cionic delivers Functional Electrical Stimulation to sequence proper muscle firing for natural movement. It is an adaptive system that provides real-time augmentation and adjustment of the participant’s movement, providing necessary assistance based on what can be measured of the participant’s neurological feedback that adjusts stimulation based on measured gait kinematics to optimize performance.

[Source(s): Cionic, Business Wire]