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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Castro Announces $189K for UTSA Bioengineering Research

Aug 3, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON— Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, announced $189,918.00 for research into innovative technologies for human joint braces:

“Current wearable rehabilitation and assistive devices are powerful and active, but can be bulky and have limited functionality for folks wearing them. I welcome the National Science Foundation funding for University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) Department of Mechanical Engineering, which will advance the next generation of flexible, powerful and portable active braces for joint motion assistance and rehabilitation applications. The goal of this research is to design, fabricate and evaluate the functionality of these devices and increase the quality of life for folks who wear these devices daily. This exploratory project is yet another example of UTSA’s leadership in biomedical engineering and I welcome these steps that prepare our next generation of scientists in San Antonio and across our nation.”

The grant was awarded to UTSA to support research by Dr. Amir Jafari and Dr. Wei Gao in UTSA’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. The research seeks to apply advances in soft robotics inspired by human muscle tissues to design and produce a pilot elbow brace that better combines power, function, and flexibility than currently available assistive and rehabilitative joint brace options. The grant is projected to run from August 1, 2018 and ends July 31, 2020.

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