Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and School of Medicine (SOM) have, for the first time, demonstrated simultaneous control of two of the world’s most advanced prosthetic limbs through a brain-machine interface. The team is also developing strategies for providing sensory feedback for both hands at the same time using neural stimulation.
“We are trying to enable a person with quadriplegia to use a direct neural interface to simultaneously control two assistive devices and, at the same time, feel touch sensation when the devices make contact with objects in the environment,” explained Dr. Brock Wester, a biomedical engineer and APL’s principal investigator for the study.
“It has significant implications for restoring capabilities to patients with high spinal cord injuries and neuromuscular diseases” he continued. “For everything we envision people needing or wanting to do to become independent — tie their shoes, catch and throw a ball, squeeze toothpaste onto a toothbrush — they really need two hands working together.”
These breakthroughs are the latest developments in Revolutionizing Prosthetics (RP), a program launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 2006 to rapidly improve upper-extremity prosthetic technologies and provide new means for users to operate them.
The original vision of the RP program was to create a neurally integrated prosthetic upper limb with human-like capabilities; this resulted in the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL). “As we integrated new capabilities into the MPL, such as fingertip sensors for force, acceleration, slip and pressure, we started to ask ourselves, ‘what is the best way to feed this information back to our study participants so that they would be able to interact with the environment just as able-bodied people do?’” said Dr. Francesco Tenore, APL’s project manager for this effort.
In addition to developing the MPL, program researchers have been exploring the use of neural signals to enable “real time” control of prosthetic and intelligent systems. The program’s initial neural control studies with participants at the University of Pittsburgh and the California Institute of Technology/Rancho Los Amigos focused on the control of a single limb, which three participants were able to do after months of training. This success highlighted the possibilities of neuroprosthetics and laid the groundwork for future studies.
APL is working with two research groups at the Johns Hopkins Hospital: Dr. Pablo Celnik’s team in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Dr. Nathan Crone’s team in the Department of Neurology. Read more about this collaboration.
In January, in a first-of-its-kind surgery, Dr. Stan Anderson’s team at Johns Hopkins implanted intracortical microelectrode array sensors on both sides of a patient’s brain, in the regions that control movement and touch sensation. As part of the surgery, APL researchers and Crone’s team pioneered a method to identify the best locations for placing the electrodes using real-time mapping of brain activity during the surgery.
The research team has completed several assessments of the neural signals acquired from the motor and sensory areas of the brain, and they’ve studied what the patient feels when the hand areas of his brain are stimulated. The results from these experiments highlight the potential for patients to sense more information about the prosthetic limb or the environment with which they are interacting.
With these tests and the successful surgery, the team has already tallied several “firsts” in the field of brain-machine interfaces.
“For the first time, our team has been able to show a person’s ability to ‘feel’ brain stimulation delivered to both sides of the brain at the same time. We showed how stimulation of left and right finger areas in the brain could be successfully controlled by physical touch to the MPL fingers,” explained APL’s Dr. Matthew Fifer, the technical lead on the project. This study benefits from the world’s first human bilateral implant for recoding and stimulation, including 96 electrodes that can be used to deliver very focused neural stimulation to the finger areas of the brain.
“Ultimately, because this is the world’s first bilateral implant, we want to be able to execute motions that require both arms and allow the user to perceive interactions with the environment as though they were coming from his own hands,” Tenore said. “Our team will continue training with our participant to develop motor and sensory capabilities, as well as to explore the potential for control of other devices that could be used to expand a user’s personal or professional capabilities.”
“These developments are critical components necessary for future brain-machine interface technologies — relevant to spinal cord injury, stroke, Lou Gehrig’s disease, among others — all aiming to restore human functions,” said Dr. Adam Cohen, Health Technologies program manager in APL’s National Health Mission Area.
The Latest on: Prosthetic limbs
[google_news title=”” keyword=”prosthetic limbs” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Prosthetic limbs
- '11 out of 10:' Hawley teen gets sports prosthetic leg from Little Buddy Foundationon November 18, 2022 at 5:48 pm
The Little Buddy Foundation has helped get prosthetic limbs to just over a dozen children, including a South Dakota teenager who can now take part in rodeos, thanks to a new arm.
- Upper Limb Prosthetics Market size to reach USD 1,219.7 Million, Grow at 5.0% CAGR by 2028 | Open Bionics, Coapt LLC, WillowWoodon November 18, 2022 at 4:37 am
Global Upper Limb Prosthetics market was valued at USD 864.5 Million in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 1,219.7 Million by 2028 Growing at a CAGR of 5.0% between 2022 and 2028. Due to a rise in limb ...
- Irede Foundation Pledges to Support Thousands of Child Amputees with Prosthetic Limbson November 17, 2022 at 4:00 pm
A nonprofit organization, The IREDE Foundation, has expressed its dedication towards taking necessary actions aimed at enabling hundreds of child amputees have access to prosthetic limbs.
- Houston hospital helps amputee patients with new prosthetics procedureon November 17, 2022 at 11:56 am
"And the small piece of metal that comes out of the limb and you're able to directly attach your prosthetic limb to that piece of metal. The benefits of it are numerous, but what the data shows is ...
- Hospital Helps Amputee Patients With New Prostheticson November 17, 2022 at 12:33 am
Jeff Chaffin, served his country in Iraq in 2003, but the Marine Corps didn’t allow him to re-enlist. "Transitioning from military to civilian was not easy," Chaffin said. "I ended up losing control ...
- Limb Prosthetics Market Size to Grow at 3.4% CAGR During the Forecast Period of 2023-2027 | 110 Report Pageson November 16, 2022 at 8:50 pm
The Global Limb Prosthetics market size is expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period, reaching ...
- Single-use plastic bottles find second life in prosthetic deviceson November 16, 2022 at 4:01 pm
How do you slash the cost of a prosthetic limb socket from approximately $6,000 to around $12? Simple: You fabricate it from plastic water bottles, and strike a blow against plastic waste in the ...
- Adding A Gentle Touch To Prosthetic Limbs With Somatosensory Stimulationon November 13, 2022 at 4:01 pm
This raises the question of how complicated this approach is, and whether we can expect it to become a common feature of prosthetic limbs before long. Please Plug In The BCI To Continue Utah array ...
- Big steps: North Rowan Elementary students discover prosthetic limbs through service dog aidon November 12, 2022 at 9:11 pm
SPENCER — Learning about prosthetic limbs can be difficult for young children, but North Rowan Elementary School staff found a way to make it engaging and informative. Following a recent visit ...
- Nonprofit, volunteers hold prosthetic limb disassembly in Brooklynon November 12, 2022 at 3:19 pm
A New York-based nonprofit held a prosthetic limb disassembly event in Brooklyn Saturday. The group is known for helping amputees in developing countries access prosthetic limbs. On average ...
via Bing News