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Michele Lobo - University of Delaware. Newark, DE, US

Michele Lobo

Associate Professor, Physical Therapy | University of Delaware


Prof. Lobo's research focuses on interventions and devices for young children that maximize early learning and development.






UD Maker: Michele Lobo UD professor's garment designs are life-changers for kids with mobility issues




Michele Lobo's research focuses on young children — designing and testing assessments, interventions and rehabilitation devices that maximize early learning and development. She examines interventions based in play that caregivers can provide. Her laboratory develops exoskeletons to improve function for infants and children with impaired arm movements. Related work creates wearable technology with support structures embedded into clothing for children.

Industry Expertise (1)

Medical Devices

Areas of Expertise (4)

Wearable Technology

Rehabilitation Devices



Media Appearances (5)

Enabling artistic expression | UDaily

University of Delaware  online


The grant was awarded to an interdisciplinary research team led by Pigford, who is co-director of UD's Interaction Design Lab. The team includes Adam Wickenheiser, co-principal investigator and associate professor of mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, and Michele Lobo, co-principal investigator and associate professor of physical therapy from the College of Health Sciences.

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Developmental Delay Treatment Breakthrough: 'Super Suits' To Combat Kids Developmental Delays

Parent Herald  online


Seeing the degree of "shame" and discomfort that the usual exoskeletons bring to developmentally-delayed children, one professor from the University of Delaware, Michele Lobo, decided to create a nice twist with these exoskeletons to better help children. She made them more special by making them light and comfortable, yet providing the same degree of efficacy as with bulky exoskeletons.

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Building functional, fashionable exoskeletons for babies

WHYY  online


But on these trips, they also swing by the University of Delaware. When Sarah Grace was about eight months old, Valarie signed her up to be a test subject for a pediatric exoskeleton called the Playskin Lift. Physical therapy researcher Michele Lobo leads its development.

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UD researchers develop fashionable baby exoskeletons

Delawae Public Media  online


When I met Sarah Grace, she was 14 months old. And she was surrounded by colorful toys and smiling women. One of them was Michele Lobo, a physical therapy researcher at University of Delaware.

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Baby's first four wheel(chair) drive! How toy cars are being customized to help disabled kids get physical therapy at home

Daily Mail  online


Frustrated by the expensive and limited wheelchair options for children, University of Delaware professors Cole Galloway, Michele Lobo and Sam Logan launched Go Baby Go, which offers instruction in how to create wheelchairs out of popular toy vehicles for about $200.

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Articles (5)

Information Available to Parents Seeking Education about Infant Play, Milestones, and Development from Popular Sources

Behavioral Sciences

2023 Parents commonly seek information about infant development and play, yet it is unclear what information parents find when looking in popular sources. Play, Milestone, and Development Searches in Google identified 313 sources for content analysis by trained researchers using a standardized coding scheme. Sources included websites, books, and apps created by professional organizations, commercial entities, individuals, the popular press, and government organizations/agencies.

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How do parents and early intervention professionals utilize educational resources about infant development and play?

Early Human Development

2023 Background Parents utilize online sources to learn about health information, however few studies have examined where parents look for information about development or play for young children. Aims Investigate parents' and early intervention (EI) providers' practices and preferences regarding parent education about infant development and play.

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Opportunities for learning and social interaction in infant sitting: Effects of sitting support, sitting skill, and gross motor delay

Developmental Science

2023 The development of independent sitting changes everyday opportunities for learning and has cascading effects on cognitive and language development. Prior to independent sitting, infants experience the sitting position with physical support from caregivers. Why does supported sitting not provide the same input for learning that is experienced in independent sitting? This question is especially relevant for infants with gross motor delay, who require support in sitting for many months after typically developing infants sit independently. We observed infants with typical development (n = 34, ages 4–7 months) and infants with gross motor delay (n = 128, ages 7–16 months) in early stages of sitting development, and their caregivers, in a dyadic play observation.

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START-Play Physical Therapy Intervention Indirectly Impacts Cognition Through Changes in Early Motor-Based Problem-Solving Skills

Pediatric Physical Therapy

2023 Purpose: This study tested whether the Sitting Together and Reaching to Play (START-Play) physical therapy intervention indirectly impacts cognition through changes in perceptual-motor skills in infants with motor delays. Methods: Participants were 50 infants with motor delays randomly assigned to START-Play plus Usual Care Early Intervention (UC-EI) or UC-EI only. Infants' perceptual-motor and cognitive skills were assessed at baseline and 1.5, 3, 6, and 12 months post-baseline.

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Development and Initial Evaluation of a Soft Ankle Support for Children With Ankle Impairments

Pediatric Physical Therapy

2023 Purpose: Develop and initially evaluate a soft ankle support (SAS) garment for children with ankle impairments. Description of Cases: Two participants were evaluated at baseline and interviews with their parent(s) to identify wants and needs for the SAS. The SAS was developed and evaluated via participant report and functional measures in barefoot, ankle-foot orthosis (AFO), and SAS conditions.

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Education (3)

University of Delaware: PhD, Biomechanics & Movement Science 2006

Hahnemann University: MPT, Physical Therapy/Therapist 1997

Trenton State College: BS, Biology & Psychology 1994

Languages (1)

  • English