Navigation Links
New Ideas on Developing Thought-Controlled Artificial Limbs

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have described a new type of nervous system// interface that could be "linked to the patient's thoughts, providing two-way signaling for motor control and feedback from multiple external stimuli."

"We're at a junction now of developing a new approach for a brain-machine interface," says senior author Douglas H. Smith, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at Penn. "The nervous system will certainly rebel if you place hard or sharp electrodes into it to record signals. However, the nervous system can be tricked to accept an interface letting it do what it likes - assimilating new nerve cells into its own network."

To develop the next generation of prosthetics the idea is to use regions of undamaged nervous tissue to provide command signals to drive a device, such as an artificial limb. The challenge is for a prosthesis to perform naturally, relaying two-way communication with the patient's brain. For example, the patient's thoughts could convert nerve signals into movements of a prosthetic, while sensory stimuli, such as temperature or pressure provides feedback to adapt the movements.

The central feature of the proposed interface is the ability to create transplantable living nervous tissue already coupled to electrodes. Like an extension cord, of sorts, the non-electrode end of the lab-grown nervous tissue could integrate with a patient's nerve, relaying the signals to and from the electrode side, in turn connected to an electronic device.

This system may one day be able to return function to people who have been paralyzed by a spinal-cord injury, lost a limb, or in other ways. "Whether it is a prosthetic device or a disabled body function, the mind could regain control," says Smith.

To create the interface, the team used a newly developed process of stretch growth of nerve fibers called axons , previously pioneered in Smith's lab. Two adjacent plates of neurons are grown in a bioreactor. Axons sprout out to connect the neuron populations on each plate. The plates are then slowly pulled apart over a series of days, aided by a precise computer-controlled motor system, until they reached a desired length.

For the interface, one of the plates is an electrical microchip. Because Smith and his team have shown that stretch-grown axons can transmit active electrical signals, they propose that the nervous-tissue interface - through the microchip - could detect and record real-time signals conducted down the nerve and stimulate the sensory signals back through the axons.

In another study, Smith and colleagues showed that these stretch-grown axons could grow when transplanted into a rat model of spinal-cord damage. The team is now is the midst of studies measuring neuronal electrical activity across newly engineered nerve bridges and the restoration of motor activity in experimental animals. Source: Bio - Bio Technology

Related medicine news :

1. Differing Ideas on Management of Alzheimer’s diseas
2. Risk Of Developing Arthritis
3. Developing HIV fighter
4. Antibiotics Found To Increase The Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer
5. The Effectiveness Of Cancer Drug In Women At Risk Of Developing Cancer
6. Men Who at Risk Of Developing Prostate Cancer
7. Identifying The Risks Of Developing Schizophrenia
8. Patients With Severe Hemophilia At Risk Of Developing Osteoporosis
9. Cancer Patients At A Greater Risk Of Developing Blood Clots
10. Young Smokers at Increased Risk Of Developing a Heart Attack
11. Women With Diabetes At Increased Risk Of Developing Cognitive Impairment
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... management services, today announced its partnership with WPC Healthcare , a provider ... systems and organizes the data into an aggregated data repository necessary to perform ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... announced today their sponsorship of the Microsoft Dynamics AXUG, GPUG and NAVUG Summits ... GPUG Summit and NAVUG Summit are independent user conferences designed and led by ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Relay (, a technology company that ... significant contract that will provide its award-winning private messaging solution to Independence Blue ... success of its Relay program, IBX Wire™, which now has over 550,000 members ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... ... A child without a healthy mouth is much more likely to have ... system, has joined with Global Dental Relief (GDR) to help bring dental ... purchased, SmileCareClub will donate one clinic visit to a child in Kenya. , “When ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... targets the unique health needs of new moms. Postnatal Omega-3, which has ... ), utilizes Nordic Naturals’ exclusive, new, ultra-concentrated omega-3 oil. This breakthrough ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... Oct. 13, 2015  SeraCare Life Sciences, a leading ... that the company,s precision medicine business unit has launched ... materials for next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based tumor profiling assays.  The ... the same mixture of mutations in key oncogenes and ... AF20 mix , but is offered at five additional ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 2015  Graduate students across the country, with ... will soon have the opportunity to learn about ... drug discovery and development process. Eli Lilly and ... 10 leaders from academic institutions to create an ... of Drug Development."  Lilly will formally unveil the ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... WASHINGTON , Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the first-ever direct-to-consumer laboratory home testing kit ... and digital technologies provide an unparalleled, detailed ... of breast milk—fats, proteins, carbs and key ... digital portal for personal health tracking.  In addition, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: