Central nervous system disorders such as spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease can drastically limit an individual's independence, mobility, and quality of life. This has dramatic consequences for completing activities of daily living, integrating within the community and finding opportunities for employment, as well as a considerable economic impact on affected individuals, their families and the health care system. Our research seeks to address these issues by developing technology that can assist functional recovery after damage to the nervous system.

Our approach is to develop rehabilitation technology that can adapt to short- and long-term changes in the user's neuromuscular system. In order to this, it is necessary to improve our ability to extract information from the nervous system. We conduct projects ranging from direct interfaces with peripheral nerves for monitoring neural signals, to wearable sensors that can capture a person's interactions with the world around them. We aim to develop tools that can provide detailed information about movement control and performance in varied contexts from the clinic to the community, with areas of application including: neuroprostheses (such as implanted and non-invasive closed-loop functional electrical stimulation systems), the evaluation and optimization of neurorehabilitation interventions (including pharmacological agents, rehabilitation robotics and clinical programs) and basic neuroscience.

Related Links

Biomed Eng Online. 2019 Nov 14;18(1):109
Kapadia N, Zivanovic V, Moineau B, Downar J, Zariffa J, Popovic MR
J Neural Eng. 2019 Oct 03;:
Koh RGL, Balas M, Nachman A, Zariffa J
J Neural Eng. 2019 Sep 26;:
Ereifej ES, Shell C, Schofield JS, Charkhkar H, Cuberovic I, Dorval AC, Graczyk EL, Kozai TDY, Otto KJ, Tyler DJ, Welle CG, Widge AS, Zariffa J, Moritz C, Bourbeau D, Marasco P
J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2019 Jul 05;16(1):83
Likitlersuang J, Sumitro ER, Cao T, Visée RJ, Kalsi-Ryan S, Zariffa J
J Rehabil Assist Technol Eng. 2018 Jan-Dec;5:2055668318788036
Zariffa J, Myers M, Coahran M, Wang RH
Phys Ther. 2019 Feb 25;:
Dawe J, Yang JF, Fehlings D, Likitlersuang J, Rumney P, Zariffa J, Musselman KE
Front Neurosci. 2018;12:877
Mansouri F, Fettes P, Schulze L, Giacobbe P, Zariffa J, Downar J
Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2018;24(3):265-274
Likitlersuang J, Koh R, Gong X, Jovanovic L, Bolivar-Tellería I, Myers M, Zariffa J, Mérquez-Chin C



Associate Professor, Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), University of Toronto

The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Toronto
Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto