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J Neural Eng. 2013 Apr;10(2):026020. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/10/2/026020. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

Real-time control of hind limb functional electrical stimulation using feedback from dorsal root ganglia recordings.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) approaches often utilize an open-loop controller to drive state transitions. The addition of sensory feedback may allow for closed-loop control that can respond effectively to perturbations and muscle fatigue.

APPROACH:

We evaluated the use of natural sensory nerve signals obtained with penetrating microelectrode arrays in lumbar dorsal root ganglia (DRG) as real-time feedback for closed-loop control of FES-generated hind limb stepping in anesthetized cats.

MAIN RESULTS:

Leg position feedback was obtained in near real-time at 50 ms intervals by decoding the firing rates of more than 120 DRG neurons recorded simultaneously. Over 5 m of effective linear distance was traversed during closed-loop stepping trials in each of two cats. The controller compensated effectively for perturbations in the stepping path when DRG sensory feedback was provided. The presence of stimulation artifacts and the quality of DRG unit sorting did not significantly affect the accuracy of leg position feedback obtained from the linear decoding model as long as at least 20 DRG units were included in the model.

SIGNIFICANCE:

This work demonstrates the feasibility and utility of closed-loop FES control based on natural neural sensors. Further work is needed to improve the controller and electrode technologies and to evaluate long-term viability.

PMID:
23503062
PMCID:
PMC3640462
DOI:
10.1088/1741-2560/10/2/026020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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