Reconnecting the Hand and Arm to the Brain (ReHAB): Bi-directional Neuroprostheses for Sensorimotor Functional Restoration

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Ajiboye, A. Bolu
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Cortically controlled neuroprostheses have long been posited as the “holy grail” for intracortical brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). The efficacy of BMIs has advanced to the point where a small number of laboratories around the US now run human clinical trials with people with chronic paralysis. As part of the ReHAB Clinical Trial, my Laboratory for Intelligent Machine-Brain Systems (LIMBS) investigates using BMIs to control Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) systems for restoring reach-to-grasp movements to persons with chronic high cervical spinal cord injury. This lecture will discuss several of our clinical, technological, and scientific advances towards developing a bi-directional BMI controlled FES arm neuroprosthesis for restoring motor and somatosensory function. The highlight of this lecture will be the demonstration of a current ReHAB participant, an individual with chronic tetraplegia, eight years post-injury using a multi-nodal BMI with multi-contact FES nerve cuff electrodes to volitionally and independently perform functional tasks, such as self-feeding and shaking hands, and discerning somatosensory feedback through intracortical microstimulation (ICMS). This lecture will also discuss use of human BMI systems as a platform for interrogating fundamental questions of human sensorimotor control, including understanding underlying mechanisms of motor performance and learning, and internal representations of kinetic, kinematic, and somatosensory parameters. Finally, this lecture will discuss steps towards clinical translation of viable FES+BMI neuroprosthetic systems for potential at-home use.
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60:46 minutes
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