The University of New Brunswick (UNB) welcomed partners from the government of New Brunswick, Mitacs and B-TEMIA to the Richard J. CURRIE CENTER on June 2 to announce funding for the world’s first research centre in dermoskeletics on the university’s Fredericton campus. The announcement was followed by a demonstration of the industry-leading dermoskeleton technology in the Andrew and Marjorie McCain Human Performance Lab.

A centre of research excellence

Under the direction of Dr. Kevin Englehart as executive coordinator and Dr. Chris McGibbon as scientific director, the center will employ over 13 postdoctoral, doctoral and masters students from UNB’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering and the faculty of kinesiology over the next five years. The Mitacs funding will be held jointly by:

Robotics meets rehabiliation

Dermoskeletics is a new science that studies the interaction between the human body and its environment while assisted with a skin-type motorized mechanism. Dermoskeletics generates dermoskeletons that eliminate musculoskeletal stress on the body structure by injecting biomechanical energy at joints, providing the mechanical assistance to the users for the restoration, the maintenance or the augmentation of their biomechanical functions. 

“Thanks to the support of our federal and provincial governments and partners like the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, Mitacs and B-TEMIA, our scientists and engineers are developing cutting-edge research at the forefront of the biomedical engineering and kinesiology fields,” said UNB President Eddy Campbell. “With B-TEMIA’s state-of-the-art technology, faculty and graduate students in the Centre for Research in Dermoskeletics will be able to work with health-care professionals to prevent occupational injuries and to improve the mobility and quality of life for those living with neurological conditions.”

Mitacs CEO Dr. Arvind Gupta echos the benefits of collaboration: “This new partnership provides B-TEMIA with access to the best minds from the University of New Brunswick, fostering further research and development in the field of dermoskeletics. In addition, these students and postdocs will gain professional skills training, along with valuable experience working on projects that directly benefit business through this industry-university collaboration.”

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that develops the next generation of innovators with vital skills through a suite of unique research and training programs: Mitacs Accelerate, Elevate, Step, and Globalink. In partnership with companies, government and universities, Mitacs is supporting a new economy using Canada’s most valuable resource — its people. 

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