Advances in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

A special issue of Bioengineering (ISSN 2306-5354). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 1265

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, College of Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
Interests: clinical applied physiology; cardiovascular pathophysiology and rehabilitation; exercise-induced blood flow patterns; endothelial function
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the past few years, the field of physical therapy and rehabilitation has benefitted from close collaboration with engineers to enhance patients’ outcomes and quality of life. From 3D printing for adaptive devices and hearing aids to exoskeletons and virtual reality,  bioengineers have provided important support to the rehabilitation field in general. As these two fields, rehabilitation and engineering, have produced brilliant work in the past, I cannot wait to see what the present and the future have to offer.

This Special Issue will focus on current research advancing any collaborations between rehabilitation and engineering. From the biological perspective, via basic and applied sciences research, to environmental and mechanical factors that play key roles in the recovery of our patients. We welcome manuscripts covering a broad overview of bioengineering research topics to enhance the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation field. These topics might be related to basic or applied sciences, such as biomechanics, physiology, motor control, or any other factor associated with bioengineering in rehabilitation.

Dr. Alvaro N. Gurovich
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Bioengineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2700 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.


  • biomedical engineering
  • rehabilitation engineering
  • biomechanics
  • motor control
  • applied physiology
  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacture
  • imaging
  • ultrasound

Published Papers (1 paper)

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15 pages, 1463 KiB  
Cybersickness in People with Multiple Sclerosis Exposed to Immersive Virtual Reality
by Massimiliano Pau, Federico Arippa, Bruno Leban, Micaela Porta, Giulia Casu, Jessica Frau, Lorena Lorefice, Giancarlo Coghe and Eleonora Cocco
Bioengineering 2024, 11(2), 115; - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1003
Together with the wide range of possible benefits for the rehabilitation/training of people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) and other neurologic conditions, exposure to immersive virtual reality (VR) has often been associated with unpleasant symptoms, such as transient dizziness, headache, nausea, disorientation and impaired [...] Read more.
Together with the wide range of possible benefits for the rehabilitation/training of people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) and other neurologic conditions, exposure to immersive virtual reality (VR) has often been associated with unpleasant symptoms, such as transient dizziness, headache, nausea, disorientation and impaired postural control (i.e., cybersickness). Since these symptoms can significantly impact the safety and tolerability of the treatment, it appears important to correctly estimate their presence and magnitude. Given the existing data scarcity, this study aims to assess the existence and severity of possible adverse effects associated with exposure to immersive VR in a cohort of pwMS using both objective measurements of postural control effectiveness and subjective evaluations of perceived symptoms. To this aim, postural sway under upright quiet posture (in the presence and absence of visual input) of 56 pwMS with an Expanded Disability Status Scale score (EDSS) in the range of 0–6.5 (mean EDSS 2.3) and 33 unaffected individuals was measured before and after a 10-min immersive VR session and at 10 min follow-up on the basis of center of pressure (COP) trajectories. The severity of cybersickness symptoms associated with VR exposure was also self-rated by the participants using the Italian version of the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ). Temporary impairments of postural control in terms of significantly increased sway area were observed after the VR session only in pwMS with mild–moderate disability (i.e., EDSS in the range of 2.5–6.5) in the presence of visual input. No changes were observed in pwMS with low disability (EDSS 0–2) and unaffected individuals. In contrast, when the visual input was removed, there was a decrease in sway area (pwMS with mild–moderate disability) and COP path length relating to the use of VR (pwMS with mild–moderate disability and unaffected individuals), thus suggesting a sort of “balance training effect”. Even in this case, the baseline values were restored at follow-up. All participants, regardless of their status, experienced significant post-VR side effects, especially in terms of blurred vision and nausea. Taken together, the findings of the present study suggest that a short immersive VR session negatively (eyes open) and positively (eyes closed) impacts the postural control of pwMS and causes significant disorientation. However, such effects are of limited duration. While it is reasonable to state that immersive VR is sufficiently safe and tolerable to not be contraindicated in the rehabilitation/training of pwMS, in order to reduce possible negative effects and maximize the efficacy, safety and comfort of the treatment, it appears necessary to develop specific guidelines that consider important factors like individual susceptibility, maximum exposure time according to the specific features of the simulation, posture to adopt and protocols to assess objective and perceived effects on participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation)
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