Draft:Milos R. Popovic

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  • Symbol opinion vote.svg Comment: He's probably notable, but the aeticle is too promotional , and focusses too much on his commercial activities. DGG ( talk ) 06:39, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Milos R. Popovic
Alma mater
Known for
Contributions to stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation
  • 2014  UHN Inventor of the Year
  • 2008  Engineering Medal for Research and Development
Scientific career

Milos R Popovic is a scientist focused in Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and neurorehabilitation. As of 2018, Popovic is the Director of the Research Institute at UHN Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI), and a Professor with the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. MyndTec is a company started by Popovic that develops the FES technology for individuals with paralysis due to stroke or spinal injury[1]


Popovic received a Dipl. of Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade in his native Serbia in 1990. He then earned his Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1996..[1]. His Ph.D thesis was on Friction modelling and control under supervision of Andrew Goldenberg[2].


Academic Work[edit]

In July 2001, Popovic established The Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory (REL) at the Lyndhurst Centre of Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. REL is devoted to advancement of the field of rehabilitation engineering. It supports multiple research groups, including the Popovic lab, under supervision of 6 principal investigators. Their research focuses on development of rehabilitation and assistive technologies to restore lost functionality due to nervous tissue injury. In 2018, Popovic was appointed as TRI's Director of Research. He is also the leader of the Neural Engineering and Therapeutics research team at iDAPT (Intelligent Design for Adaptation, Participation, and Technology), which is focused on translation of rehabilitative research info advanced therapeutic tools[3]. Some of his major scientific contributions are outlined below.

Functional Electrical Stimulation as a Rehabilitative Tool[edit]

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) uses bursts of short electrical pulses to generate muscle contraction. Application of these electrical pulses to motor nerves results in generation of an action potential along the axon of that nerve towards its targeted muscle[4]. With electrodes placed on the skin over the desired muscle, individuals attempt to move their muscle by sending a signal with their brain to the muscle. The muscle is then stimulated by the system, causing a contraction which sends a signal from the muscle to the brain. Thus, a new neural pathway is formed, which improves recovery of voluntary movement[5].

Popovic has led studies investigating the use of FES in the rehabilitation of muscular function for stroke victims with extremely limited arm and hand mobility in comparison with conventional therapy. One of the most well-known publications is "Rehabilitation of Reaching and Grasping Function in Severe Hemiplegic Patients Using Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy", conducted in 2008. Electrical impulses to activate muscles were used in combination with verbal cues, and over the course of the treatment period, less FES was necessary to achieve the desired movements. Patients using FES in the study showed significant improvement in object manipulation, palmar grip torque, and pinch grip pulling force when compared to those using only conventional therapy.[6] This research aligned with the development of the company MyndTec.

Under his supervision, projects at REL have also investigated use of electrical stimulation for restoring various functionalities commonly lost due to nervous tissue injury, such as restoration of swallowing[7][8], balance during standing[9][10] and sitting[11]. REL also developed methods to reduce muscle fatigue that results from FES-based therapies through optimization and randomization of electrical stimulation parameters[12][13]

Brain-Machine Interfaces[edit]

Popovic is also involved in the development of various brain-machine interfaces (BMI) for use in humans, using implantable electrocorticographic (ECoG) and surface electroencephalographic (EEG) electrode. A neuroprosthesis study conducted using ECoG achieved high accuracy in producing intended grasp-and-release functionality in the hand [14]. Real-time asynchronous control of a remote-controlled car was achieved using a single EEG electrode to eliminate restrictions related to information transfer rates[15]. Work within this field tests the feasibility and functionality of using invasive and non-invasive physiological signals to improve implementation of FES as a rehabilitation method.

Spinal Cord Injury Therapies[edit]

Popovic is a dedicated advocate for awareness and therapeutic advancement for spinal cord injuries (SCI). In 2004, he was a co-founder of the Canadian National Spinal Cord Injury Conference, and since acts as a co-chair for the annual event[1]. As part of his work with iDAPT, he's also contributed to the Spinal Cord Injury: A Manifesto for Change[16]. The manifest is a call to action to improve the care of people living with SCI.

Compex Motion Simulator[edit]

Popovic developed Compex Motion, a portable and programmable system used for transcutaneous FES, in collaboration with Swiss company Compex SA. The stimulator can be programmed to generate a variety of stimulation sequences, can be connected to other systems to increase channel capabilities, and can be controlled externally. The device can be used in the development of neuroprostheses, and muscle exercise systems[17]. This work provided the foundation for the use of FES in SCI rehabilitation.


Popovic has played a large role in the professional development of researchers and students. He is also part of several international and domestic academic committees and has supervised over 20 postdoctoral fellows, 24 PhD students, 36 Masters students, and many undergraduate thesis and summer research projects[18]. In addition to supervisory roles, Popovic has given over 200 guest lectures and led 25 workshops; he frequently gives lectures at the University of Toronto to undergraduate and graduate level courses.


In 2008, Popovic co-founded MyndTec based on the FES system that has been a focus of his research. MyndTec is a medical technology company that develops MyndMove, a transcutaneous FES therapy to improve function and maximize independence for patients with stroke- and spinal-cord injury-related paralysis. MyndMove therapy session employ a variety of reaching and grasping protocols that permit patients to regain voluntary arm and hand movement[5].


Through Popovic's product development work both within TRI and MyndTec, he has several patents related to FES methods and devices [19]. In 2014, the Functional electrical stimulation device and system, and use thereof filed by University Health Network got approved[20]. In 2018, his work within MyndTec Inc., the wireless implantable data communication system, method and sensing device was granted[21]

Media Coverage[edit]

Popovic has been featured in several news stories, as well as televised and broadcast interviews on local media outlets to discuss his work. In 2015, he discussed the use of FES in stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation[22]. In 2018, his FES device MyndMove was featured as a technology for paralysis[23]. He was also featured on a tour of iDAPT at TRI, to discuss the lab space and current research[24].

Honours and Awards[edit]

Popovic is the recipient of many awards on a local and national level for his research using functional electrical stimulation and development of MyndMove technology. The most prestigious of these are highlighted below.[25]

  • 2018: Jonas Salk Award - March of Dimes, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2018: Leaders Circle Award
  • 2014: University Health Network's Inventor of the Year Award
  • 2013: University of Toronto Inventor of the Year Award (with Drs. Prodic, Lehn, and Huerta-Olivares, and Mr. Tarulli)
  • 2013: Health Technology Exchange - Morris (Mickey) Milner Award for outstanding contributions in Assistive Technologies
  • 2012: TiEQuest Business Venture Competition - 1st Prize and Best Intellectual Property for MyndTec Inc.
  • 2012: Innovation Award - Connaught Committee, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, January 2012.
  • 2011: Elected to College of Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering
  • 2008: Engineering Medal for Research and Development from Professional Engineers of Ontario and Ontario Society of Professional Engineers
  • 1997: Swiss National Science Foundation Technology Transfer Award - 1st place (with Thierry Keller)

Notable Publications[edit]

  • "A reliable gait phase detection system", I.P. Pappas, M. R. Popovic, T. Keller, V. Dietz, and M. Morari, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2001[26]
  • "Importance of body sway velocity in controlling ankle extensor activities during quiet stance", K. Masani, M. R. Popovic, K. Nakazawa, M. Kouzaki, and D. Nozaki, Journal of Neurophysiology, 2003[27]
  • “Controlling balance during quiet standing: Proportional and derivative controller generates preceding motor command to body sway position observed in experiments", K. Masani, A. H. Vette, M. R. Popovic, Gait and Posture, 2006[9]
  • "Functional electrical therapy: Retraining grasping in spinal cord injury", M. R. Popovic, T. A. Thrasher, M. E. Adams, V. Takes, V. Zivanovik, and M. I. Tonack, Spinal Cord, 2006[28]
  • "Rehabilitation of Reaching and Grasping Function in Severe Hemiplegic Patients Using Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy", T. A. Thrasher, V. Zivanovik, W. McIlroy, and M. R. Popovic, Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 2008[6]
  • “Functional electrical stimulation of walking: Function, exercise and rehabilitation”, T. A. Thrasher, and M. R. Popovic, Annales de Readaptation et Medecine Physique, 2008[29]
  • “Neural-mechanical feedback control scheme generates physiological ankle torque fluctuation during quiet stance”, A. H. Vette, K. Masani, K. Nakazawa, and M. R. Popovic, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2010[30]
  • “Functional electrical stimulation therapy for restoring voluntary grasping function in patients with sub-acute incomplete tetraplegia: A randomized single-blind clinical trial”, M. R. Popovic, N. Kapadia, V. Zivanovic, J. C. Furlan, B. C. Craven, and C. McGillivray, Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 2011[31]
  • “Cardiovascular response of individuals with spinal cord injury to dynamic functional electrical stimulation under orthostatic stress”, T. Yoshida, K. Masani, D. G. Sayenko, M. Miyatani, J. A. Fisher, and M. R. Popovic, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2013[32]
  • “A randomized trial of functional electrical stimulation for walking in incomplete spinal cord injury: Effects on walking competency”, N. Kapadia, K. Masani, B.C. Craven, L.M. Giangregorio, S.L. Hitzig, K. Richards, and M.R. Popovic, The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 2014[33]
  • “Trunk control impairment is responsible for postural instability during quiet sitting in individuals with cervical spinal cord injury”, M. Milosevic, K. Masani, M.J. Kuipers, H. Rahouni, M.C. Verrier, K.V. McConville, and M.R. Popovic, Clinical Biomechanics, 2015[34]
  • “The influence of the aquatic environment on the center of pressure, impulses and upper and lower trunk accelerations during gait initiation”, A. R. Marinho-Buzelli, K. Masani, H. Rouhani, A. M. Barela, G. T. B, Fernandes, M. C. Verrier, M. R. Popovic, Gait and Posture, 2017[35]

External Links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Milos Popovic | UHN Research". www.uhnresearch.ca. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  2. ^ Popovic, M. R. (1996). Friction modeling and control. (Order No. NN11832, University of Toronto (Canada)). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 182. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/docview/304326344/abstract/AC34C277F78E461APQ/1?accountid=14771
  3. ^ "Neural Engineering and Therapeutics". Retrieved 2019-02-15.
  4. ^ L., Baker, Lucinda (2000). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation : a practical guide. Los Amigos Research & Education Institute, Inc. ISBN 0967633508. OCLC 43624410.
  5. ^ a b "Welcome Page". www.myndtec.com. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  6. ^ a b Thrasher, T. Adam; Zivanovic, Vera; McIlroy, William; Popovic, Milos R. (2008-10-29). "Rehabilitation of Reaching and Grasping Function in Severe Hemiplegic Patients Using Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy". Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 22 (6): 706–714. doi:10.1177/1545968308317436. ISSN 1545-9683. PMID 18971385.
  7. ^ Thrasher, T. Adam; Popovic, Milos R. (2004-06-01). "Electrical Stimulation and Neuroprostheses for Restoring Swallowing Function". Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia). 13 (2): 28. doi:10.1044/sasd13.2.28. ISSN 1940-7556.
  8. ^ Steele, Catriona M.; Thrasher, Adam T.; Popovic, Milos R. (January 2007). "Electric stimulation approaches to the restoration and rehabilitation of swallowing: a review". Neurological Research. 29 (1): 9–15. doi:10.1179/016164107x171555. ISSN 0161-6412. PMID 17427268.
  9. ^ a b Masani, Kei; Vette, Albert H.; Popovic, Milos R. (February 2006). "Controlling balance during quiet standing: Proportional and derivative controller generates preceding motor command to body sway position observed in experiments". Gait & Posture. 23 (2): 164–172. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2005.01.006. ISSN 0966-6362. PMID 16399512.
  10. ^ Vette, A.H.; Masani, K.; Popovic, M.R. (June 2007). "Implementation of a Physiologically Identified PD Feedback Controller for Regulating the Active Ankle Torque During Quiet Stance". IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. 15 (2): 235–243. doi:10.1109/tnsre.2007.897016. ISSN 1534-4320. PMID 17601193.
  11. ^ Preuss, Richard A.; Popovic, Milos R. (October 2010). "Three-dimensional spine kinematics during multidirectional, target-directed trunk movement in sitting". Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 20 (5): 823–832. doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2009.07.005. ISSN 1050-6411. PMID 19674918.
  12. ^ Thrasher, Adam; Graham, Geoffrey M.; Popovic, Milos R. (June 2005). "Reducing Muscle Fatigue Due to Functional Electrical Stimulation Using Random Modulation of Stimulation Parameters". Artificial Organs. 29 (6): 453–458. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1594.2005.29076.x. ISSN 0160-564X. PMID 15926981.
  13. ^ Rouhani, Hossein; Rodriguez, Karen Elena; Bergquist, Austin J; Masani, Kei; Popovic, Milos R (2016-12-26). "Minimizing muscle fatigue through optimization of electrical stimulation parameters". Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Informatics. 3 (1): 33. doi:10.5430/jbei.v3n1p33. ISSN 2377-939X.
  14. ^ Márquez-Chin, C; Popovic, M R; Cameron, T; Lozano, A M; Chen, R (2009-04-21). "Control of a neuroprosthesis for grasping using off-line classification of electrocorticographic signals: case study". Spinal Cord. 47 (11): 802–808. doi:10.1038/sc.2009.41. ISSN 1362-4393. PMID 19381156.
  15. ^ Màrquez-Chin, César; Sanin, Egor; Silva, Jorge; Popovic, Milos (April 2009). "Real-Time Two-Dimensional Asynchronous Control of a Remote-Controlled Car Using a Single Electroencephalographic Electrode". Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. 14 (4): 62–68. doi:10.1310/sci1404-62. ISSN 1082-0744.
  16. ^ "IDAPT.COM". idapt.com. Retrieved 2019-02-15.
  17. ^ Popovic, M.R.; Keller, T.; Pappas, I.P.I.; Muller, P.Y. (September 2001). "Compex motion — New portable transcutaneous stimulator for neuroprosthetic applications". 2001 European Control Conference (ECC). IEEE: 3945–3950. doi:10.23919/ecc.2001.7076551. ISBN 9783952417362.
  18. ^ "People – Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory". Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  19. ^ "Milos R. Popovic Inventions, Patents and Patent Applications - Justia Patents Search". patents.justia.com. Retrieved 2019-02-15.
  20. ^ US 20130090712A1, "Functional electrical stimulation device and system, and use thereof", issued 2011-06-02 
  21. ^ US 20150065831A1, "Wireless Implantable Data Communication System, Method and Sensing Device", issued 2013-03-15 
  22. ^ "Milos Popovic: Regaining Movement, Restoring Dignity". TVO. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  23. ^ June 22, CBC Radio ·; 2018. "This wearable medical device could help people with paralysis move again | CBC Radio". CBC. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  24. ^ "Stella LIVE at iDAPT Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (1 of 4)". Breakfast Television Toronto. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  25. ^ "Milos R. Popovic". ims.utoronto.ca. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  26. ^ Pappas, I.P.I.; Popovic, M.R.; Keller, T.; Dietz, V.; Morari, M. (June 2001). "A reliable gait phase detection system". IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. 9 (2): 113–125. doi:10.1109/7333.928571. PMID 11474964.
  27. ^ Masani, Kei; Popovic, Milos R.; Nakazawa, Kimitaka; Kouzaki, Motoki; Nozaki, Daichi (December 2003). "Importance of Body Sway Velocity Information in Controlling Ankle Extensor Activities During Quiet Stance". Journal of Neurophysiology. 90 (6): 3774–3782. doi:10.1152/jn.00730.2002. ISSN 0022-3077. PMID 12944529.
  28. ^ Popovic, M R; Thrasher, T A; Adams, M E; Takes, V; Zivanovic, V; Tonack, M I (2005-08-30). "Functional electrical therapy: retraining grasping in spinal cord injury". Spinal Cord. 44 (3): 143–151. doi:10.1038/sj.sc.3101822. ISSN 1362-4393. PMID 16130018.
  29. ^ Thrasher, T.A.; Popovic, M.R. (July 2008). "Functional electrical stimulation of walking: Function, exercise and rehabilitation". Annales de Réadaptation et de Médecine Physique. 51 (6): 452–460. doi:10.1016/j.annrmp.2008.05.006. PMID 18602712.
  30. ^ Vette, Albert H.; Masani, Kei; Popovic, Milos R. (2008). "Neural-mechanical feedback control scheme can generate physiological ankle torque fluctuation during quiet standing: A comparative analysis of contributing torque components". 2008 IEEE International Conference on Control Applications. IEEE: 660–665. doi:10.1109/cca.2008.4629657. ISBN 9781424422227.
  31. ^ Popovic, Milos R.; Kapadia, Naaz; Zivanovic, Vera; Furlan, Julio C.; Craven, B. Cathy; McGillivray, Colleen (June 2011). "Functional Electrical Stimulation Therapy of Voluntary Grasping Versus Only Conventional Rehabilitation for Patients With Subacute Incomplete Tetraplegia: A Randomized Clinical Trial". Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 25 (5): 433–442. doi:10.1177/1545968310392924. ISSN 1545-9683. PMID 21304020.
  32. ^ Yoshida, Takashi; Masani, Kei; Sayenko, Dimitry G.; Miyatani, Masae; Fisher, Joseph A.; Popovic, Milos R. (January 2013). "Cardiovascular Response of Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury to Dynamic Functional Electrical Stimulation Under Orthostatic Stress". IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. 21 (1): 37–46. doi:10.1109/TNSRE.2012.2211894. ISSN 1534-4320. PMID 22899587.
  33. ^ R., Kapadia, Naaz. Masani, Kei. Catharine Craven, B. Giangregorio, Lora M. Hitzig, Sander L. Richards, Kieva. Popovic, Milos. A randomized trial of functional electrical stimulation for walking in incomplete spinal cord injury: Effects on walking competency. OCLC 1016953217.
  34. ^ Popovic, Milos R.; McConville, Kristiina M. V.; Verrier, Mary C.; Rahouni, Hossein; Kuipers, Meredith J.; Masani, Kei; Milosevic, Matija (2015-06-01). "Trunk control impairment is responsible for postural instability during quiet sitting in individuals with cervical spinal cord injury". Clinical Biomechanics. 30 (5): 507–512. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2015.03.002. ISSN 0268-0033. PMID 25812727.
  35. ^ Marinho-Buzelli, Andresa R.; Masani, Kei; Rouhani, Hossein; Barela, Ana M.; Fernandes, Gustavo T.B.; Verrier, Mary C.; Popovic, Milos R. (October 2017). "The influence of the aquatic environment on the center of pressure, impulses and upper and lower trunk accelerations during gait initiation". Gait & Posture. 58: 469–475. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2017.09.008. ISSN 0966-6362. PMID 28923661.