Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering



First Advisor

Hanli Liu


The quantification of any improvements in the use of a paretic arm after children with cerebral palsy (CP) undergo rehabilitation is currently done by occupational therapists who administer a series of manual ability tests and assign a subjective score for each test task performed. In this work the hypothesis was explored of whether quantification of hand motion metrics by motion tracking while children with CP performed a hand tapping task could be used as a more quantitative surrogate for assessing how well these children control the use of their hand. To that end, two children with CP, both classified as level one in the Manual Ability Classification Scale (MACS), both age eleven, were measured during finger tapping just before and immediately after two weeks of Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT). In addition, two age-matched controls were measured twice during the same time interval. Motion tracking was performed by attaching retroreflective targets on the nails, knuckles and wrists of both hands for all subjects measured. The motions of these targets were measured simultaneously by two motion tracking systems, a lower cost two-camera one and a higher cost six-camera one. The data from both camera systems were analyzed to quantify three simple motion metrics per subject, namely the tapping amplitude, average tapping velocity and the instantaneous velocity profile of the paretic hand of subjects with CP and the dominant right hand of controls. These hand performance metrics were quantified before and after CIMT for the subjects with CP, and the measurements on control subjects were used to assess the level of motion metric variability between the two measurement sessions that were also two weeks apart. It was found that some of the motion metrics showed changes after CIMT that follow qualitatively the trends seen in clinically administered manual ability tests, though a lot more subjects would need to be measured to verify the significance of these trende. In addition, the accuracy of the two-camera system to track hand motions was compared relative to the six-camera one for all subjects measured. The purpose of this latter comparison was to assess the extent to which the lower cost two-camera system could be used for quantifying finger tapping motion metrics accurately. It was found that the two-camera system's performance was inferior, for technical reasons that are discussed, which made its use in this work much more challenging than using the six-camera system.


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington