Research Profile: Jessica Selinger, Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

June 08, 2011

Congratulations to Jessica C. Selinger, who has received a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for $150,000 to support her PhD program in the Locomotion Lab, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology.

Jessica researches the fundamental principles that underlie the neuronal control of legged locomotion. Her research at SFU will be focused on developing a myoelectric control system for a knee-mounted biomechanical energy harvester, an extension of an existing Locomotion Lab project that can generate storable electricity from the natural motion of walking.

Her goal is to control the device with sensors that measure the electrical activity of the user’s contracting muscles. This proposed control system has the potential to harvest additional energy from the body, be more comfortable for the user, and be adaptable to changing environments and movements.

Advances in energy harvesting technology could revolutionize the meaning of portable power. The restricting weight and limited working time of battery power can be overcome by granting humans the ability to serve as their own renewable power source. The applications for such a device are vast—from powering vital communication equipment for soldiers and rescue workers to powering medical devices such as drug-pumps and prostheses.

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