Bio


Blynn Shideler grew up in Pittsburgh and managed a local Dunkin Donuts before starting college at Washington & Jefferson College. At Washington & Jefferson, he wrestled in the 2015 NCAA D-III national team championships and worked in the Office of Student Life as a Resident Assistant. Blynn earned a B.A. in physics & French from Washington & Jefferson before enrolling in a dual degree program at Columbia University. At Columbia, Blynn sang for the Columbia Chamber Choir, volunteered in the Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Department, and developed medical robotics with the Columbia Robotics & Rehabilitation Laboratory while pursuing a B.S. in biomedical engineering. Throughout his undergraduate studies, Blynn spent a summer as a visiting student at McGill University and completed several global research fellowships, including positions at the University of Paris, Hangzhou Dianzi University, and Victoria University of Melbourne, where he studied clinical human movement and developed technologies for children with neurological movement disorders. Blynn is the lead inventor on multiple patent applications for medical robotics for children with cerebral palsy.

After graduating from Columbia in 2019, Blynn spent a year at the NIH Clinical Center’s Rehabilitation Medicine Department working on the NIH exoskeleton for pediatric cerebral palsy. During his year at NIH, Blynn also volunteered as the Varsity Wrestling Coach at Rockville High School. Blynn’s most recent research paper with the NIH shows the potential benefits of using neuromuscular electrical stimulation for improving walking biomechanics in children with crouch gait. Blynn’s long-term goal in medicine is to pursue a career in pediatric rehabilitation and continue developing assistive technologies for children with motor disabilities. In his free time, he enjoys walking dogs on Wag Walking and live-streaming Runescape on Twitch.

Education & Certifications


  • Bachelor of Arts, Washington & Jefferson College (2019)
  • Bachelor of Science, Columbia University (2019)
  • Visiting Student, McGill University, French (2016)

Service, Volunteer and Community Work


  • Emergency Medicine Department Volunteer, Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital (October 2017 - May 2019)

    Supervisor: Amy Bush from Department of Volunteer Services

    Location

    New York, NY

Patents


  • Blynn Shideler, Simon Taylor, Rezaul Begg. "United States Patent 10,722,149 Real-Time Biofeedback Rehabilitation Tool Guiding and Illustrating Foot Placement for Gait Training", Victoria University, Jul 28, 2020
  • Blynn Shideler, Elizabeth Shrout, Katherine Cavanaugh, Rachel Alexander, Maxime Robert. "United States Patent 62890265 Limb Motion Tracking Biofeedback Platform and Method of Rehabilitation Therapy for Patients with Spasticity", The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, Aug 22, 2019

Work Experience


  • Biomedical Engineering Research Fellow, University of Paris (May 2015 - August 2015)

    PI: Pierre-Paul Vidal, MD, PhD & Visiting Scholar Ming Meng, PhD from Cognition & Action Group

    Location

    Paris, France

  • Visiting Student of Research, Hangzhou Dianzi University (May 2016 - July 2016)

    PI: Ming Meng, PhD from the Department of Biomedical Engineering & Instrumentation

    Location

    Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

  • Visiting Research Fellow, Victoria University (May 2017 - August 2017)

    PI: Simon Taylor, PhD & Rezaul Begg, PhD from the Institute of Sports, Exercise, and Active Living (ISEAL)

    Location

    Melbourne, Australia

  • Undergraduate Researcher, Columbia Robotics & Rehabilitation Laboratory (October 2017 - May 2019)

    PI: Sunil Agrawal, PhD from the Robotics and Rehabilitation (ROAR) Laboratory

    Location

    New York, NY

  • IRTA Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health (June 2019 - July 2020)

    PI: Diane Damiano, PT, PhD & Thomas Bulea from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Functional & Applied Biomechanics Section

    Location

    Bethesda, MD

All Publications


  • Toward a hybrid exoskeleton for crouch gait in children with cerebral palsy: neuromuscular electrical stimulation for improved knee extension. Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation Shideler, B. L., Bulea, T. C., Chen, J., Stanley, C. J., Gravunder, A. J., Damiano, D. L. 2020; 17 (1): 121

    Abstract

    Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) has been utilized for many years in cerebral palsy (CP) with limited success despite its inherent potential for improving muscle size and/or strength, inhibiting or reducing spasticity, and enhancing motor performance during functional activities such as gait. While surface NMES has been shown to successfully improve foot drop in CP and stroke, correction of more complex gait abnormalities in CP such as flexed knee (crouch) gait remains challenging due to the level of stimulation needed for the quadriceps muscles that must be balanced with patient tolerability and the ability to deliver NMES assistance at precise times within a gait cycle.This paper outlines the design and evaluation of a custom, noninvasive NMES system that can trigger and adjust electrical stimulation in real-time. Further, this study demonstrates feasibility of one possible application for this digitally-controlled NMES system as a component of a pediatric robotic exoskeleton to provide on-demand stimulation to leg muscles within specific phases of the gait cycle for those with CP and other neurological disorders who still have lower limb sensation and volitional control. A graphical user interface was developed to digitally set stimulation parameters (amplitude, pulse width, and frequency), timing, and intensity during walking. Benchtop testing characterized system delay and power output. System performance was investigated during a single session that consisted of four overground walking conditions in a 15-year-old male with bilateral spastic CP, GMFCS Level III: (1) his current Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO); (2) unassisted Exoskeleton; (3) NMES of the vastus lateralis; and (4) NMES of the vastus lateralis and rectus femoris. We hypothesized in this participant with crouch gait that NMES triggered with low latency to knee extensor muscles during stance would have a modest but positive effect on knee extension during stance.The system delivers four channels of NMES with average delays of 16.5 ± 13.5 ms. Walking results show NMES to the vastus lateralis and rectus femoris during stance immediately improved mean peak knee extension during mid-stance (p = 0.003*) and total knee excursion (p = 0.009*) in the more affected leg. The electrical design, microcontroller software and graphical user interface developed here are included as open source material to facilitate additional research into digitally-controlled surface stimulation ( github.com/NIHFAB/NMES ).The custom, digitally-controlled NMES system can reliably trigger electrical stimulation with low latency. Precisely timed delivery of electrical stimulation to the quadriceps is a promising treatment for crouch. Our ultimate goal is to synchronize NMES with robotic knee extension assistance to create a hybrid NMES-exoskeleton device for gait rehabilitation in children with flexed knee gait from CP as well as from other pediatric disorders.clinicaltrials.gov, ID: NCT01961557 . Registered 11 October 2013; Last Updated 27 January 2020.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12984-020-00738-7

    View details for PubMedID 32883297

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7469320

  • Age effects on step adaptation during treadmill walking with continuous step length biofeedback GAIT & POSTURE Mehdikhani, M., Taylor, S., Shideler, B. L., Ogrin, R., Begg, R. 2020; 80: 174–77

    Abstract

    The inability to adjust step length can lead to falls in older people when navigating everyday terrain. Precisely targeted forward placement of the leading foot, constituting step length adjustment, is required for adaptive gait control, but this ability may reduce with ageing. The objective of this study was to investigate ageing effects on step length adaptation using real-time biofeedback.Does ageing affect the ability to adapt step length to match a target using real-time biofeedback?Fifteen older adults (67 ± 3 years; 8 females) and 27 young adults (24 ± 4 years; 13 females) completed a step length adaptation test while walking at preferred speed on a treadmill. The test involved walking while viewing a monitor at the front of the treadmill that showed a real-time signal of absolute left-right foot displacement. The task was to match the local maxima of the signal (i.e. step length) to two target conditions, at 10 % longer or 10 % shorter than mean baseline step length. When the target was displayed, it remained unchanged for a set of 10 consecutive step attempts. Three sets of 10 attempts for each target condition were allocated in random order, for a total of 30 step attempts per target. Average absolute error and average error (bias) of step length accuracy was computed for each target condition and compared between groups.The step adaptation test identified that older adults had greater mean absolute error for both short and long step targets and showed a step length-dependent bias significantly different to the young.Real-time foot position feedback could be a useful tool to train and evaluate step adaptation in older people.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2020.04.027

    View details for Web of Science ID 000548457100031

    View details for PubMedID 32521471

  • Age effects on step adaptation during treadmill walking with continuous step length biofeedback Gait & Posture Mehdikhani, M., Taylor, S., Shideler, B. L., Ogrin, R., Begg, R. 2020; 80: 174-177
  • A flexible real-time biofeedback tool that trains gait adaptability World Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics Mehdikhani, M., Taylor, S., Begg, R., Shideler, B. L., Ogrin, R. Research Gate. 2019
  • Real-time biofeedback rehabilitation tool guiding and illustrating foot placement for gait training United States Patent Application Publication Shideler, B. L., Taylor, S., Begg, R. 2017
  • An Automated Recording Method in Clinical Consultation to Rate the Limp in Lower Limb Osteoarthritis PLOS ONE Barrois, R., Gregory, T., Oudre, L., Moreau, T., Truong, C., Pulini, A., Vienne, A., Labourdette, C., Vayatis, N., Buffat, S., Yelnik, A., de Waele, C., Laporte, S., Vidal, P. P., Ricard, D. 2016; 11 (10): e0164975

    Abstract

    For diagnosis and follow up, it is important to be able to quantify limp in an objective, and precise way adapted to daily clinical consultation. The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine if an inertial sensor-based method could provide simple features that correlate with the severity of lower limb osteoarthritis evaluated by the WOMAC index without the use of step detection in the signal processing. Forty-eight patients with lower limb osteoarthritis formed two severity groups separated by the median of the WOMAC index (G1, G2). Twelve asymptomatic age-matched control subjects formed the control group (G0). Subjects were asked to walk straight 10 meters forward and 10 meters back at self-selected walking speeds with inertial measurement units (IMU) (3-D accelerometers, 3-D gyroscopes and 3-D magnetometers) attached on the head, the lower back (L3-L4) and both feet. Sixty parameters corresponding to the mean and the root mean square (RMS) of the recorded signals on the various sensors (head, lower back and feet), in the various axes, in the various frames were computed. Parameters were defined as discriminating when they showed statistical differences between the three groups. In total, four parameters were found discriminating: mean and RMS of the norm of the acceleration in the horizontal plane for contralateral and ipsilateral foot in the doctor's office frame. No discriminating parameter was found on the head or the lower back. No discriminating parameter was found in the sensor linked frames. This study showed that two IMUs placed on both feet and a step detection free signal processing method could be an objective and quantitative complement to the clinical examination of the physician in everyday practice. Our method provides new automatically computed parameters that could be used for the comprehension of lower limb osteoarthritis. It may not only be used in medical consultation to score patients but also to monitor the evolution of their clinical syndrome during and after rehabilitation. Finally, it paves the way for the quantification of gait in other fields such as neurology and for monitoring the gait at a patient's home.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0164975

    View details for Web of Science ID 000389009200032

    View details for PubMedID 27776168

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5077168