Prod­ucts Based on North­eastern Professor’s Break­through Inven­tion Will Hit the Market as a Result of the Agreement

(5–21-07) Boston, Mass. – North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and WGI, Inc., a Massachusetts-​​based leading sup­plier of pre­ci­sion parts and assem­blies for aero­space, indus­trial and med­ical appli­ca­tions, announced the signing of an agree­ment licensing to WGI, Inc. a break­through tech­nology invented by a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fessor and his team for stroke reha­bil­i­ta­tion using intel­li­gent portable devices.

Under the agree­ment which includes a com­bi­na­tion of a research and devel­op­ment con­tract and a license, WGI, Inc. will put sub­stan­tial funding into North­eastern Uni­ver­sity to jointly develop the first product pro­to­type over the next year. WGI will also form and launch an inde­pen­dent product-​​manufacturing startup com­pany to be jointly owned by WGI, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, and a group of pri­vate investors. The startup will also form part­ner­ships with dis­trib­u­tors and mar­keting organizations.

We are very excited about expanding our product base with ground­breaking tech­nology that can ulti­mately help mil­lions of people,” says Fred Filios, Pres­i­dent of WGI, Inc. “Northeastern’s research team has cre­ated just that and we are looking for­ward to working with them on taking the tech­nology to the next level by cre­ating prod­ucts and making them avail­able to the health­care industry and to indi­vid­uals who can ben­efit from them.”

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity will license three existing patents to WGI which include hard­ware and soft­ware for a series of inven­tions based upon electro-​​rheological fluid (ERF) brake and actu­ator technology.

The ERF tech­nology (“smart fluids” that expe­ri­ence dra­matic changes in rhe­o­log­ical prop­er­ties, such as vis­cosity or yield stress, in the pres­ence of an elec­tric field) is the foun­da­tion of a series of devices invented by Con­stan­tinos Mavroidis, Pro­fessor in the Depart­ment of Mechan­ical and Indus­trial Engi­neering, and his team at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. The devices include the light­weight, fully portable Active Knee Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Device and the Vari­able Resis­tance Exer­cise and Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Hand Device, both using ERF to achieve computer-​​controlled, vari­able and tun­able resis­tive force gen­er­a­tion. While the knee brace helps to create resis­tance on a healing joint by re-​​establishing nat­ural gait pat­tern, the hand device senses and mea­sures patient-​​induced motion and force. The latter is also Mag­netic Resonance-​​compatible and may be used in brain MRIs to study motor per­for­mance and assess reha­bil­i­ta­tion after neu­ro­log­ical injuries such as stroke.

This part­ner­ship demon­strates North­eastern University’s com­mit­ment to bring inno­v­a­tive, world-​​class research to the mar­ket­place. Pro­fessor Mavroidis’ team has devel­oped tech­nology that will lead to unique med­ical reha­bil­i­ta­tion devices,” says Tony Pirri, Director of Northeastern’s Divi­sion of Tech­nology Transfer. “This col­lab­o­ra­tion also pro­vides us with the oppor­tu­nity to con­tribute to the Mass­a­chu­setts economy through col­lab­o­ra­tion with a local company.”

Future plans of the col­lab­o­ra­tion include designing and man­u­fac­turing pro­to­types for ankle and elbow reha­bil­i­ta­tion devices.

For more infor­ma­tion about the part­ner­ship between North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and WGI, Inc., please con­tact Renata Nyul at 617–373-7424 or at r.​nyul@​neu.​edu.


About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.

About WGI, Inc.

Estab­lished in 1942, WGI, Inc. /​ West­field Gage Over­haul and Repair is a leading sup­plier of pre­ci­sion machined prod­ucts for the space pro­gram, mil­i­tary and com­mer­cial gas tur­bine engines, the cryo­genics industry, and a variety of other aero­space, indus­trial and med­ical appli­ca­tions. The com­pany has unique capa­bil­i­ties to pro­duce pre­ci­sion machined prod­ucts and pro­vides spe­cial ser­vices, including research and devel­op­ment, pro­to­typing, and the over­haul and repair of aero­space hard­ware. WGI has a global cus­tomer base. The com­pany is based in South­wick, Mass­a­chu­setts. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.wgi​.us.