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Neurosci Res. 2014 Jan;78:21-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

Corticospinal neuroprostheses to restore locomotion after spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.
2
Translational Neural Engineering Laboratory, Center for Neuroprosthetics and Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.
3
Translational Neural Engineering Laboratory, Center for Neuroprosthetics and Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland; Automatic Control Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland.
4
Laboratory for Soft Bioelectronic Interfaces, Center for Neuroprosthetics, IMT/IBI, EPFL, Switzerland.
5
Laboratory for Non-Invasive Brain-Machine Interface, Center for Neuroprosthetics and Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.
6
Translational Neural Engineering Laboratory, Center for Neuroprosthetics and Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland; The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy.
7
Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland. Electronic address: gregoire.courtine@epfl.ch.

Abstract

In this conceptual review, we highlight our strategy for, and progress in the development of corticospinal neuroprostheses for restoring locomotor functions and promoting neural repair after thoracic spinal cord injury in experimental animal models. We specifically focus on recent developments in recording and stimulating neural interfaces, decoding algorithms, extraction of real-time feedback information, and closed-loop control systems. Each of these complex neurotechnologies plays a significant role for the design of corticospinal neuroprostheses. Even more challenging is the coordinated integration of such multifaceted technologies into effective and practical neuroprosthetic systems to improve movement execution, and augment neural plasticity after injury. In this review we address our progress in rodent animal models to explore the viability of a technology-intensive strategy for recovery and repair of the damaged nervous system. The technical, practical, and regulatory hurdles that lie ahead along the path toward clinical applications are enormous - and their resolution is uncertain at this stage. However, it is imperative that the discoveries and technological developments being made across the field of neuroprosthetics do not stay in the lab, but instead reach clinical fruition at the fastest pace possible.

KEYWORDS:

Brain–machine interface; Neuromotor rehabilitation; Neuroprosthetics; Spinal interface

PMID:
24135130
DOI:
10.1016/j.neures.2013.10.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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