Kuiken, Todd, PhD, MD



Kuiken, Todd, PhD, MD





Office Phone



Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (RIC); Associate Dean for Hospital Academic Affairs at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago


345 East Superior Street, Room 1309 Chicago



Areas of Research

Motor Control, Movement & Rehabilitation, Systems Neuroscience

NU Scholar Profile


Recent Publications on PubMed


Current Research

Current Research

The Neural Engineering Center for Artificial Limbs (NECAL) is a research program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) based on over 20 years of research. The goal of NECAL is to improve function and quality of life for people who have suffered limb loss.

Currently, individuals who have undergone amputation are only able to operate one motion at a time with myoelectric prostheses. The NECAL laboratory is currently experimenting with the use of "targeted reinnervation", a new neural-machine interface, to improve myoelectric prosthesis function. With this technique, amputated nerves are transferred to spare muscle and skin in an amputee's residual limb. The nerves grow into the muscle to provide additional control signals for the operation of a prosthesis. This allows patients to control multiple functions in their prosthesis at the same time in an easier, more natural manner.

“Sensory reinnervation” also takes place following the targeted reinnervation procedure; the patient feels touch to the reinnervated skin as being applied to their missing limb. This may allow the amputee to actually "feel" what they are touching with a prosthetic hand. Through these studies, NECAL is working to develop a state-of-the-art prosthesis that includes shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand components, as well as haptic interfaces to provide the sense of touch.

Figure 1. Surface EMG plots from reinnervated pectoralis muscles.

Figure 2. Experimental motorized prosthesis controlled with the targeted reinnervation neural-machine interface.

Fig. 3. a) Transfer sensation region is outlined in red, region with intact sharp/dull discrimination is outlined in blue. b) Color map of light touch thresholds in reinnervated region (g/mm2).