Niigata University of Health and Welfare

Major in Rehabilitation Sciences
Field of Prosthetics & Orthotics and Assistive Technology

Overview

The “Support for Self-Reliance”, which is our aim in the Field of Prosthetics & Orthotics and Assistive Technology, not only aims to achieve partial functional improvement, but also support the elderly and people with physical disabilities through the utilization of prostheses and welfare devices so that they may live on their own in all life scenarios. This field offers the possibility of analyzing scientific evidence pertaining to the human body and aims to train highly specialized professionals capable of providing multifaceted support to the targeted individuals in terms of their QOL and self-reliance. This is conducted through the collaboration with specialized professionals such as medical doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists and human resources capable of applying the results of research to the creation and adaptation of prostheses and welfare devices.

Characteristics

We educate human resources who will possess not only production-oriented skills in medicine and welfare devices but also the ability to cooperate with other types of professionals. The teaching staff possesses a variety of skills and plays an active and leading role overseas. Most professors have engaged in a kind of international activities (e.g. studying abroad, education, activities with NGOs) and hence can provide proper advice to the students who are interested in working abroad.
For the first time in Japan, we have opened a course on shoes and gait. Ahead of all graduate schools throughout the country, we started a “the Human Science of Shoes” in anticipation of the future fusion of expertise in the manufacturing of shoes and prostheses.

Facilities

We use state-of-the-art tools made in Germany or in the Netherlands. We consider ourselves as one of the best institutions in the world in terms of the number of machines and the breadth of working space per student.

Master’s Degree

Master of Rehabilitation Science (M.Rehab.Sc.) in Prosthetics and Orthotics

Examples of Research Topics

  1. Basic and applied research on all prostheses and welfare equipment in general
  2. Research on the analysis of dynamic burdens on the body
  3. Research on energy consumption by muscles, using rigid-link models and muscle mechanics models
  4. Research on wheelchairs and cushions
  5. Research on the evaluation and development of welfare equipment for transferring and transporting
  6. Research on Universal Design
  7. Research on the correlation between welfare technology and space technology
  8. Research on welfare equipment in Southeast Asia
  9. Research on interactive empowerment in volunteer activities in Southeast Asia
  10. Research on the construction and analysis of the National Spinal Cord Injury Database
  11. Research on recovery and the complications of strokes
  12. Research on the recovery and the complications of spinal cord injuries
  13. Research on sports disorders of the lower extremities and on the insoles
  14. Research on footwear and gait, from the perspective of shoe medicine and ergonomics
  15. Research on the structure of walk with above-knee prostheses
  16. Research on the knee joint of above-knee prostheses
  17. Research on myoelectric prosthetic hands
  18. Research on CAD/CAM systems

Teaching Staff

Kaoru Abe / Professor / Ph. D. (Chair)
Practice of shoes human science, Shoes adjustment science, Development and evaluation of functional arch support (shoe insole) and footwear, Lower extremities orthosis for hemiplegia, Foot pressure (F-scan) analysis

Yoshihiro Ehara / Professor / Ph. D.
Biomechanics, Motion analysis, Gait analysis, Muscular-skeletal simulation, Mechanical energy calculation, Human body balance analysis, Sports biomechanics, Prosthetic and orthotic gait analysis, Shoes analysis, Motion capture

Akira Magara / Professor / M. D., Ph. D.
Collaborative science in health and welfare, Rehabilitation for spinal cord injury, Database for spinal cord injury, Complication of spinal cord injury, Rehabilitation for cerebral vascular accident, Inter-professional education (IPE), Virtual case module database for IPE

Yukio Agarie / Professor / M. E.
Study to identify lower limp prosthetic socket fitting conditions with the use of kinesthetic sensors (three dimensional forces), Study related to prosthetic & orthotic fitting

Junji Katsuhira / Associate Professor / Ph. D.
Biomechanics, Motion analysis, Ergonomics, Kinesiology, Evaluation and development of assistive devices

Yoshitomo Sasamoto / Associate Professor / Ph. D.
Orthotics, Orthosis therapy for children, Study on bottom shape of the lower extremity orthosis

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