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Physioengineering, the Use of Engineering in Physiotherapy: Advances in Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 1582

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Physiotherapy, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: physiotherapy; musculoskeletal manipulations; exercise therapy; clinical reasoning; evidence-based practice; patients-reported outcomes; biomedical instrumentation; electronics; 3D printing
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Guest Editor
Department of Physiotherapy, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, 08195 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: physiotherapy; biomedical engineering; musculoskeletal manipulations; exercise therapy; clinical reasoning; evidence-based practice; quality of life

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Guest Editor
Bioengineering Institute of Technology, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), 08195 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: biomedical instrumentation; biosensors; electronics; optical design; photospectrometry; nano/microfabrication; microfluidics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physiotherapy is a health discipline that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of movement-related injuries and other disorders. Physiotherapists have a wide range of tools at their disposal to achieve this goal. Manual therapy and therapeutic exercise are the best known and most researched areas of physiotherapy. However, technological advances have allowed for engineering’s increased presence in teaching, research and clinical practice. Collaboration with engineers is thus essential for the continued growth and development of the profession. This Special Issue introduces physioengineering as an interdisciplinary field that combines the principles and techniques of physiotherapy and engineering to model and develop innovative technological tools and devices to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal and neural disorders.

This edition calls for research studies using established methods or novel technologies focused on clinical applications or their validation in randomised trials, such as: medical devices, computer-aided diagnosis, computer vision (CV), 3D printing, rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing, control systems, biosignal processing, biomedical imaging, medical imaging, system identification, biosystems modelling, dynamic systems, artificial intelligence and numerical simulation.

The collaboration between physiotherapy and engineering can lead to the development of cutting-edge technologies that can significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of movement-related injuries and disorders, and ultimately improve the quality of life of patients.

Dr. Andoni Carrasco-Uribarren
Dr. Sara Cabanillas-Barea
Dr. Portela Alejandro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • physiotherapy
  • evidence-based practice
  • quality of life
  • biomedical engineering
  • biomedical signal processing
  • biomedical imaging
  • deep learning
  • machine learning
  • computational modelling
  • multiphysics simulation
  • finite element method
  • computer simulation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

22 pages, 1009 KiB  
Review
Devices for Gait and Balance Rehabilitation: General Classification and a Narrative Review of End Effector-Based Manipulators
by Paul Diego, Saioa Herrero, Erik Macho, Javier Corral, Mikel Diez, Francisco J. Campa and Charles Pinto
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(10), 4147; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14104147 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 260
Abstract
Gait and balance have a direct impact on patients’ independence and quality of life. Due to a higher life expectancy, the number of patients suffering neurological disorders has increased exponentially, with gait and balance impairments being the main side effects. In this context, [...] Read more.
Gait and balance have a direct impact on patients’ independence and quality of life. Due to a higher life expectancy, the number of patients suffering neurological disorders has increased exponentially, with gait and balance impairments being the main side effects. In this context, the use of rehabilitation robotic devices arises as an effective and complementary tool to recover gait and balance functions. Among rehabilitation devices, end effectors present some advantages and have shown encouraging outcomes. The objective of this study is twofold: to propose a general classification of devices for gait and balance rehabilitation and to provide a review of the existing end effectors for such purposes. We classified the devices into five groups: treadmills, exoskeletons, patient-guided systems, perturbation platforms, and end effectors. Overall, 55 end effectors were identified in the literature, of which 16 were commercialized. We found a disproportionate number of end effectors capable of providing both types of rehabilitation (2/55) and those focused on either balance (21/55) or gait (32/55). The analysis of their features from a mechanical standpoint (degrees of freedom, topology, and training mode) allowed us to identify the potential of parallel manipulators as driving mechanisms of end effector devices and to suggest several future research directions. Full article
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11 pages, 849 KiB  
Review
Hand Osteoarthritis: Is Balneotherapy Useful? Bridging the Gap in the Literature with a Scoping Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
by Maria Chiara Maccarone, Anna Scanu, Gianluca Regazzo, Antonella Fioravanti and Stefano Masiero
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(19), 10839; https://doi.org/10.3390/app131910839 - 29 Sep 2023
Viewed by 863
Abstract
Hand osteoarthritis (HOA) represents a common presentation of osteoarthritis, significantly affecting patients’ quality of life and daily activities. The 2018 EULAR recommendations underline the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, combining non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments. Yet, the role of balneotherapy (BT) in the HOA [...] Read more.
Hand osteoarthritis (HOA) represents a common presentation of osteoarthritis, significantly affecting patients’ quality of life and daily activities. The 2018 EULAR recommendations underline the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, combining non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments. Yet, the role of balneotherapy (BT) in the HOA therapeutic regimen remains unclear. This review seeks to bridge the gap by exploring recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigate the potential benefits of BT as a complementary intervention for managing HOA. This scoping review investigates original research articles published between January 2003 and August 2023 through a comprehensive search across MEDLINE (PubMed), Google Scholar, and Web of Science. The findings from this scoping review contribute to the growing corpus of evidence indicating that BT, particularly when employing specific methods like mud packs and mineral-rich baths, presents a promising role in reducing pain and enhancing functionality and quality of life, particularly in the initial phases of the condition. These findings highlight the potential therapeutic efficacy of BT interventions and support their inclusion as a complementary approach in managing HOA and preventing its progression. However, further research and the undertaking of larger-scale trials are imperative to validate these preliminary findings. Full article
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