B3P Exteriorized Neuropsychogenic Proprioception (ENP)

Dycor is developing a practical biomedical device designed to assist the user imagine what they would like to feel, and at the same time, feel what they try to imagine. The device is called B3P, and is patent pending. 

Dycor has contracted with Health Care Technology Group Inc. of Wharton, Texas, and under the leadership of Art Schulze, HTG and its contributing members have produced a prototype of B3P.

In its current configuration, B3P is designed to facilitate Exteriorized Neurosychogenic Proprioception (ENP) in both the neuropathic and transected lower limb. ENP facilitation is predicated in sensory substitution and multisensory correlation modalities.

Dycor is currently turning its attention towards neurobiology, neuropsychology, neurophysiology and psychophysiology to better understand how B3P interfaces with the brain and how neuropyschological mechanisims interact with B3P's unique mode of sensory input.

Key contributing HTG members are listed in the following bio sketches. Additional information regarding any member contribution can be obtained, offered or exchanged at dycormfginc@comcast.net.

To gain an understanding of the neuropsychological mechanisms involved in sensory substitution and multisensory correlation, and to better assess your client’s safety while operating an O&P device, click here on ENP/Empathy Training.

Download a Summary Lecture/ENP by Michael Wilson on Empathy Training (.pdf)

Michael T. Wilson, CPO

Michael Wilson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics from New York University in 1970, and received certification in Prosthetics in 1971 and Orthotics in 1972. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthotics & Prosthetics with 35 years experience as a clinical prosthetist and has been an owner/operator of an independent prosthetic clinic in the Houston area since 1984. He holds 24 patents and patent pending applications in Biomedical, Mechanical, Extracorporeal Prosthetics and Industrial Art and is the author of the B3P patent application and the ENP Neural Correlation Theory. 

I have utilized pre and post operative Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation training for 25 years with favorable results. Similar to PNF, ENP appears to enhance a more normal body image and normal phantom sensation. However, adding the element of B3P sensory input has the most unexpected engaging and animating effect on the user. There appears to be a relationship between B3P proficiency and the maintenance or attainment of a more natural feeling phantom limb and this more natural feeling closely coincides with simultaneous prosthetic function. There also appears to be an inverse relationship between B3P proficiency and the presence of phantom and/or limb pain. Consequently, greater attention will be given in the future to ENP and B3P as a pain management modality. B3P could have a direct technical bearing on clinical prosthetics because sensory substitution could be the primary determinant for prosthetic component combination and alignment. An example would be the selection and alignment of knee and ankle components. B3P has wonderful potential in this area because it not only takes into account all aspects of biomechanical analysis for any particular selection and arrangement of prosthetic components, but also measures the person’s sensorimotor skill relating to the predictable, consistent and otherwise safe operation of any specific prosthetic design. B3P could also add to a more objective assessment of functional restoration by comparing B3P proficiency with both the prosthetic and contralateral limb. 

Needless to say, I am very enthusiastic regarding my continued involvement in this area of O&P Rehabilitation Science and the opportunity of working with such marvelous and gifted individuals connected with this project. It has been a real treat for me to view clinical prosthetics through the eyes of physical therapy, biomedical and electrical engineering andcomputer science, and I think all HTG members look forward to having our collaborative effort viewed through the eyes of neuroscience. 

Arthur E. Schulze, P.E. 

Art Schulze is the Founder and President of Healthcare Technology Group, Inc. (HTG) and has been a consultant to the medical device industry for over 25 years. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering and a M.S. degree in biomedical sciences. Art has been directly involved in the development of biomedical instrumentation for over 40 years. His experience has included product planning and product design as well as engineering management and general management in various corporate structures. He has been associated with the introduction of over 200 new medical device products into the commercial marketplace. 

A registered professional engineer, Art is an active member of major professional organizations, and has been involved in starting more than twelve new medical device companies. He has written and published papers on medical device concepts and is named as an inventor on nine recent U.S. patents and has several other patents pending. Mr. Schulze has become a recognized expert in the commercialization of new concepts resulting from scientific discoveries and technological innovations. 

HTG specializes in the analysis of information regarding new technology and its adoption by the health care community. HTG also provides product planning, product development, commercialization, and technical management services for a wide variety of clients. 

"The current design of the prototype B3P device is wonderfully direct and simple – it does exactly what it´s designed to do. It provides very accurate measurements of the user´s ability to anticipate specific events based on sensory substitution. This is worthwhile because anticipation is theorized as being critical in neural correlation, and this device is designed to provide clear characterization and encapsulation of anticipatory input. 

It is a sincere privilege for me to have the opportunity to work with Dycor and the whole HTG team in developing an exciting new model for sensory substitution training for patients with impaired or missing limbs as well as designing a new product that will serve a market that Dycor knows so well."

Tommy Cooper, P.E.

Tommy Cooper has more than thirty years of experience in engineering and design/development of medical instrumentation. He has designed transducers, analog and digital circuits, and microprocessor hardware and software. His work has encompassed diversity of medical instrumentation applications; such as, heart bypass pumps, biotelemetry, cardiac monitors, defibrillators, renal therapy systems, home-based patient monitors, telemedicine products, electronic stethoscopes and teaching equipment. He has designed and directed the development of a number of products, such as a disposable blood pressure transducer, a personal-computer-based teaching system and a home-based pregnancy monitor. He has been a consultant to the medical device industry since 1986. Mr. Cooper received a B.S.E.E. degree from the University of Houston in 1974 and an M.S.E.E. degree in 1981. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas, and served for twelve years as the industry co-chairman for a major industry regulatory committee. Tommy has written and published papers on various topics in medical instrumentation, and is named as an inventor on eleven recent U.S. patents and has several other patents pending. He has also prepared sales training material and has made presentations to sales staff and hospital groups on various products.

"Working with HTG and Dycor teams on the completion of the product development effort on the B3P project will give me the opportunity to contribute my experience and expertise to this exciting application of scientific findings related to the EPsP Neural Correlation Theory as envisioned and proposed by Michael Wilson." 

J. James Spano, P.T.

James Spano is a recognized authority on comprehensive physical therapy and was the recipient of the Outstanding Physical Therapist Award for the State of Texas in 1975. He received B.S. degrees in both Biology and Physical Therapy. James has been directly involved in providing quality physical therapy healthcare for more than 40 years. For 28 years, he was in private practice as the President of Spano Physical and Respiratory Therapy Services, Inc. He is also certified in Respiratory Therapy. 

A recognized speaker and participant in patient care conferences, James is an active member of major professional organizations and local civic organizations. He has conducted many in-services with nursing staff and has been a primary therapist for in-patient rehab and out-patient physical therapy. Mr. Spano is recognized for his innovative techniques in neurological disorders, physical therapy, and Sports Medicine. 

"The design of the B3P will help the clinician with neuro correlation which so often is the focal point of Physical Therapy. It is paramount in the use of most of our modalities that are needed for early intervening stimulus, transfer of proprioception, graded weight-bearing, balance, cadence, postural tension, stability, repetitive and succeeding response, externalization and extended psychological response, just to name a few. Neuro correlation is necessary for the patient's well being and the knowledge and assurance of what is to come.

It is sometimes difficult to predict and measure clinical outcomes for neural correlation modalities due to the apparent disassociative nature of sensory substitution, when utilized. What I find promising about HTG´s and Dycor's collaboration regarding B3P is the effort made to more closely measure and record neural function and to see in that closer association a more accurately defined clinical outcome. The EPsP Neural Correlation Theory postulates or otherwise implies a given significance to anticipation of neural correlation, and this implication is consistent with sound clinical observation and therapeutic practice."

Steve Macha, P.E.

Steve Macha has over 35 years of experience in engineering and scientific research work. He has designed digital systems and software from microchip silicon level to computer mainframe level. He has designed numerous applications using embedded processing signal analysis and control with many data communication technologies. He has designed both semi-automatic and fully automatic test systems for product manufacturing support. He has been a consultant to both to the oil well services industry since 1978 and to the medical device industry since 1989. Steve holds six U.S. patents as inventor for the medical industry, with several more in the oil well instrumentation industry, and has several patents pending. He is the author of several papers and cations on applications of microprocessors and has developed system architecture and embedded software for many HTG projects. 

Mr. Macha received a B.S. degree in physics from Lamar University in 1969 and a B.S.E.E. degree in 1971 with post graduate work in physics. He is a registered engineer in the State of Texas and is a member of several honorary professional societies. 

"I look forward to continuing to work with HTG and Dycor in the design of custom software that will allow the B3P to meet system specifications. The process will involve complying with Good Engineering Practices that will allow the system platform to respond quickly and accurately to research findings during the product development process."