Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Functional hand orthosis for stroke patients

Technology #cu15275

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Joel Stein M.D.
Managed By
Sara Gusik

Many stroke patients who have lost hand function never fully regain it with rehabilitation and occupational therapy alone. This technology is a self-contained wearable orthotic device that can assist and restore hand movement through a mechanical system of motors and artificial tendons. Unlike current products, which are used largely in the clinical setting, this device can be worn by patients anytime and anywhere. Using this device, patients will be able to accomplish many of the manipulation-related motor tasks of daily living that greatly increase independence and quality of life.

Light, wearable, self-contained, orthosis for restoration of dexterous hand movements

This technology is uniquely suited for everyday use. Currently available technologies focus on rehabilitation of muscles in a clinical setting under the supervision of an occupational therapist. This technology, however, seeks to enhance and restore function in the daily setting, independent of any clinical caretakers. While there are available technologies that serve this function for regaining arm movement, there are currently none available that do this for the hand and fingers.

This technology is a wearable glove with an artificial network of tendons that attach to one or more lightweight motors. This system is designed to achieve specific hand movements that are used in activities of daily living.

A prototype of this technology has been tested and shown to effectively achieve specific hand and finger movements.

Lead Inventors:

Matei Ciocarlie, PhD

Joel Stein, MD


  • Temporary orthotic for recovering stroke patients
  • Permanent wearable orthosis
  • Clinical aid for occupational therapists
  • Robotics applications


  • Fully self-contained
  • Lightweight motor system connected to digits via optimized tendon network
  • Designed for specific hand and finger movements of daily living
  • Multiple control methods using either the impaired or unimpaired arm
  • Detachable parts for easy connection / disconnection and cleaning

Patent Information:

Patent Pending

Tech Ventures Reference: IR CU15275, CU15139