Congratulations to Dr. Justin Sanchez, Director of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office and graduate of the UF BME program, who delivered the first two advanced ‘LUKE’ (Life Under Kinetic Evolution) arms from a new production line at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for veterans wo are rehabilitating after suffering upper-limb loss. Read the full story here.
DARPA launched the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program with a radical goal: gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for an advanced electromechanical prosthetic upper limb with near-natural control that enhances independence and improves quality of life for amputees. The LUKE design allows for 10-powered degrees of freedom using a series of servomotors and flexors- including powered shoulder movement, bicep rotator and wrist flexor with the ability to manipulate in several directions in almost the same way a human arm would.
Sanchez was an associate professor of biomedical engineering and neuroscience at the University of Miami, and a faculty member of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. He directed the Neuroprosthetics Research Group, where he oversaw development of neural-interface medical treatments and neurotechnology for treating paralysis and stroke, and for deep brain stimulation for movement disorders, Tourette’s syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Sanchez has developed new methods for signal analysis and processing techniques for studying the unknown aspects of neural coding and functional neurophysiology. His experience covers in vivo electrophysiology for brain-machine interface design in animals and humans where he studied the activity of single neurons, local field potentials and electrocorticogram in the cerebral cortex and from deep brain structures of the motor and limbic system,
Sanchez holds Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Engineering degrees in biomedical engineering, and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering science, all from the University of Florida.
Photo Caption: (Left to right) U.S. Army Colonel Michael Heimall, Director, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC); U.S. Air Force Colonel Jeffrey Bailey, MD, Director for Surgery, WRNMMC; Colonel (Ret.) Paul Pasquina, MD, Chief of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, WRNMMC; Justin Sanchez, Ph.D., Director, Biological Technologies Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; Lieutenant Colonel Keith Myers, MD, Director, Amputee Clinic, WRNMMC.