DS0413 - Technologies pour la santé

Tailoring exercise with muscular contraction modulation: development of an innovative hybrid ergometer – EXO-MODE

Submission summary

The current improvement in life expectancy, thanks to medical and technical progress, results in an increase in the elderly population. However, life expectancy without disability has not followed the same curve, due to an increase in the prevalence of chronic conditions or diseases related to aging. Maintaining the autonomy of the elderly and limiting mid-adulthood disabilities onset is thus a major challenge of modern medicine. In this context, it is particularly relevant to propose simple preventive measures based on lifestyle modification such as regular physical activity (PA), to slow the decline in functional capacity, especially physical abilities. Guidelines highlight a relative consensus for the combination of three types of exercise: (1) global moderate intensity aerobic activity for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week; (2) strength training at least 2 times per week, on 2 non-consecutive days; and (3) balance and flexibility exercises. These guidelines remain to be improved, because they don’t match the diversity of activities of daily living. They focus on duration, frequency and intensity of PA, that mainly favor concentric contractions, whereas modulating muscular contraction was never proposed. This does not seem consistent with the physiologic reality, where human permanently modulates in everyday life activities this key feature of contraction. Moreover, it is far more efficient to highly personalize exercise prescription, rather than using devices that do not suit the great diversity of subjects. In lights of this, we built the theory-driven EXO-MODE project that develops a new paradigm in PA prescription, based on modulation of the muscular contraction mode (shortening (concentric) or lengthening (eccentric)) tailored to the participant. The aim of this project, led by a consortium of five French laboratories specialized in the topic, and one industrial, is to provide a device that implements rehabilitation programs tailored to each individual’s physiological and environmental realities through the development of a new hybrid ergocycle interfaced with the subject. This device will modulate muscular contraction according to a personalized goal: the improvement of aerobic and/or anaerobic capacity. Scientific evidences have highlighted the difference in metabolic responses between concentric and eccentric muscle action. However there are growing evidences that eccentric contraction is a completely different muscular solicitation, from a cortical, spinal, muscular, or cardio-vascular point of view. This 2-phase project first aims to gain further insights in the comprehension of muscular, cardio-vascular and cognitive acute response to the modulation of muscular contraction, in order to develop a training algorithm allowing to implement a personalized training program. In a second phase, we will seek to validate the algorithm by exploring the chronic responses to training. Each experimental task of the EXO-Mode project covers a broad range of techniques (imaging, electromyography, biomechanical analyses, neuro-muscular stimulation, endothelial function, cardiac output, respiratory gas measurements, muscular biopsies, mental fatigue tests). Importantly, as these techniques are all mastered by one or more participants of EXO-MODE project, they constitute a real asset for investigating all domains covered by our proposal and to propose an algorithm that evaluate the entire function of the subject. We will give a high priority to produce scientific guidelines for the use of the modulation of muscular contraction, as well as to transfer these scientific guidelines to a final product ready to manufacture. Finally, opportunity will be provided to professionals or individuals to acquire knowledge relative to the guidelines and the new device produced in this project. This will result in a wider choice of rehabilitation techniques to improve autonomy in the elderly or those suffering from chronic diseases.

Project coordination

Romuald Lepers (Université de Bourgogne - U1093 Cognition, Action, Plasticité Sensorimotrice)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CHU Clermont-Ferrand Service de Médecine du Sport et des Explorations fonctionnelles
UM Université de Montpellier - EA 2991 Movement to Health
Ub Université de Bourgogne - U1093 Cognition, Action, Plasticité Sensorimotrice
CHU Dijon Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Dijon
EA 4267 EA 4267 « Fonctions et Dysfonctions Epithéliales »

Help of the ANR 572,421 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2015 - 48 Months

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