Technology ID

A Device to Measure Force Continuously During Handgrip Contraction and Relaxation for Myotonic Dystrophies

Lead Inventor
Mankodi, Ami (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
Gravunder, Andrew (Clinical Center (CC))
Bulea, Thomas (Clinical Center (CC))
Damiano, Diane (Clinical Center (CC))
Research Materials
Non-Medical Devices
Medical Devices
Therapeutic Areas
Infectious Disease
Lead IC
This invention relates to two devices that reliably, sensitively, and accurately measures force during handgrip contraction and subsequent relaxation. A delayed relaxation after a sustained and forceful handgrip is a cardinal symptom of myotonic dystrophies (DM). This delayed relaxation, handgrip myotonia, may be a therapeutic response biomarker in clinical trials.

The Hand Clasp Load Cell Device is an assembly of an upper piece to be held between the fingers and palm and a lower palmar piece embedded with force sensing transducers to measure grip strength and relaxation time. The accompanying software automates clinical assessment of hand strength and relaxation time, displays grip force in real-time and synchronizes data with verbal commands to also quantify reaction time. The Myotonia Relaxation Actuator consists of a servo-motor connected to a lever designed to track finger movements in addition to force measurements. Interactive software supports data collection, real-time synchronization, as well as a display of the force measurements and finger positions during handgrip and relaxation.
Commercial Applications
The device can be used as a:
  • clinical assessment tool to quantify hand function biomarkers. The continuous force measurements may permit the assessment of other neurological disorders
  • research device to affordably and accurately quantify grip force, thumb kinematics, and electromyography

The real-time tracking of this device and associated software could be used in a virtual environment to be used in rehabilitation and non-medical fields.
Competitive Advantages
  • The combination of affordability, ease of use, and accuracy in measuring force during handgrip is unique in the market.
  • The integrated software that automates clinical assessment of handgrip myotonia is also a unique feature.
  • Portable set up is adaptable to any table surface and requires only a USB connection to any laptop and renders device attractive for a larger range of clinical settings.
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