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Taking the next step toward advanced artificial limbs
Date:9/24/2008

WORCESTER, Mass. A team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will receive $1 million in federal and state grants to advance the critical development of neuroprostheticsnext-generation artificial limbs that could one day be permanently implanted and perform most of the movements and functions of natural limbs.

The majority of the funding comes through a two-year $860,000 grant awarded to WPI's Bioengineering Institute (BEI) by the U.S. Army's Military Amputee Research Program of the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC). "There is a great human need for better, more functional prosthetic devices, especially for our soldiers who have been severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan," says W. Grant McGimpsey, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and director of the BEI. "So we are very pleased to receive this funding to enable our work. We are taking a comprehensive approach to this research, looking at how we can leverage our expertise at WPI to fill the gaps and advance the field."

In addition, WPI will receive a $150,000 grant from the John Adams Innovation Institute, the economic development division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, to undertake market evaluation, strategic planning, and business development activities supporting the growth of the Center, and to help stage a national neuroprosthetics conference at WPI in 2009. "The collaborations and nexus of innovative activity created by the Center for Neuroprosthetics at WPI greatly improves conditions for growing the medical device industry in the region, throughout the Commonwealth, and beyond," said Pat Larkin, Director of the MTC's John Adams Innovation Institute.

The TARTC grant, funded through appropriations supported by U.S. Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry, as well as Congressman James P. McGovern, will cover three areas of prosthetics research at WPI: control signal processing, nervous system integration,
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Contact: Michael Cohen
mcohen@wpi.edu
508-868-4778
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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