Principal investigator: Qianhong Wu

University: Villanova University

Industry partner: Square Root Brands LLC

Each year, upwards of 795,000 Americans—and 4% of all adults in Pennsylvania—experience a stroke, with many facing a complicated path to physical recovery. The sooner a stroke survivor begins physical therapy, the better their long-term health outcomes, including reducing the likelihood of a secondary stroke. While it has become easier for professionals to deliver physical therapy in a patient’s home, this service is certainly not available to all survivors and remains intermittent.

Villanova University, in partnership with Square Root Brands, proposes to create a novel, wearable physical therapy “smart sleeve” to augment and accelerate the physical rehabilitation of stroke patients. The sleeve is designed to administer targeted stimulation via a “cell pack” system, inspired by the human circulation system, to deliver precise compression and weighting to improve and restore motor function. A unique combination of biomechanics, fluid mechanics and advanced manufacturing is integrated in the development of this novel technology.

Support from the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program will enable Villanova and Square Root Brands to create a new product platform technology that we ultimately plan to extend to other applications, including sports and strength conditioning and the rehabilitation and physical therapy markets, broadly defined.