Highly integrated bionic prostheses

Contrary to depictions of bionic limbs by popular media, most amputees possess antiquated prostheses. Patients can intuitively control a maximum of three prosthetic joints, and somatosensory feedback is practically absent, even for the most advanced clinically available prostheses.The first highly integrated human-machine interface enabling intuitive closed-loop control of prosthetic arms, at higher control and somatosensory resolution than ever achieved before, will be developed and clinically implemented in this project.Two patients will receive a bionic arm fixated to the skeleton via osseointegrated implants, that also serve as a bidirectional communication port between internal bioelectric constructs and an external mechatronic arm. Intuitive and high-resolution control will be achieved by connecting fascicles from split severed nerves into free muscle grafts housing electrodes that in turn are connected to the implant. Separating these fascicles permits extraneural electrodes to deliver intuitive somatosensory feedback in distinct locations in the missing hand. A multidisciplinary team led by the applicant and consisting of a PhD student, a post doc, surgeons and therapists, will conduct this project over four years.This project will provide patients with immediate benefits, while also creating a unique technology that permits the scientific investigation of complex limb motions and somatosensory perception in a heretofore unprecedented way: long-term and in daily life.

Start date 01/01/2021
End date 31/12/2024

Page manager Published: Sat 05 Dec 2020.