Our goal is to revolutionize the treatment of peripheral nerve injury through the development of an Implantable Peripheral Nerve Prosthesis (iPNP), a fully implanted device called the “Bionic Link”. Our specific objectives are to carry out fundamental research on neural interfacing and prosthetics, create intellectual property, develop a platform for scientific investigation of nerve injury and functional restoration, demonstrate feasibility of the technology in a non-human primate model, and present a path to clinical and commercial utilization. The five highly integrated aims of the project are: Neural Interface, Neural Decoding, Wireless Microelectronics, System Integration, and Hand Dexterity.
Project 1: Neural Interface: To develop novel peripheral nerve electrodes using advanced microfabrication methods and different types of materials to interface with the regenerating nerve.
Project 2: Neural Decoding: To discriminate between signals from the injured nerve in order to increase the number of stimulation patterns that can be transmitted to stimulating electrodes implanted in multiple target muscles.
Project 3: Wireless Microelectronics: To record from and stimulate the nerve using implantable low power and wireless very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuits.
Project 4: System Integration: To build a fully integrated implantable system that integrates microelectrodes, microelectronics, and wireless technologies.
Project 5: Hand Dexterity: To utilize our team’s clinical surgical expertise and our non-human primate resources to demonstrate restoration of hand function after nerve injury