Skip to main content

BRAIN-SPINE INTERFACES TO REVERSE UPPER- AND LOWER-LIMB PARALYSIS

Objective

A spinal cord injury (SCI) alters the communication between the brain and spinal cord. The consequences are dramatic impairments of upper-limb and lower-limb motor functions, which have a profound impact on the affected person, their family, and society. Currently, there are no approved therapies for SCI. The resulting costs of care amount to more than 2.5 M? over the lifetime of a person with SCI. Two ERCs combined with two ERC-PoCs enabled us to prototype two brain-spine interfaces (BSIs) that link the intended movements decoded from motor cortex activity to precise electrical stimulations of the spinal cord to promote these movements. These BSIs restored walking and arm/hand movements in nonhuman primate models of SCI, and as we report here, enabled one patient with chronic paralysis to walk again outdoors. These prototypes were partly based on repurposed devices that were not optimized for the intended applications, and thus presented shortcomings. Here, we propose to integrate two breakthrough technologies to develop two fully-implantable BSIs that will remedy these limitations. The first technology consists of the only existing fully-implantable neurosensor for wireless monitoring of cortical activity in humans based on high-density grids positioned over the dura mater. The second technology is the only implantable neurostimulation system dedicated to the recovery of movement after paralysis. This system combines an implantable pulse generator that enables highly reliable, real-time control of spinal cord stimulation, and a portfolio of electrode arrays that have been designed to leverage the mechanisms through which this stimulation restores movement. Two small scale clinical trials will demonstrate that these BSIs restore lower-limb and upper-limb movements in humans with chronic paralysis. These studies will provide specifications for industrial versions of the BSIs, opening the path to a commercially-viable revolution for people living with paralysis.

Coordinator

ONWARD MEDICAL NV
Net EU contribution
€ 1 227 947,00
Address
High Tech Campus 32
5656 AE Eindhoven
Netherlands

See on map

Region
Noord-Brabant Zuidoost-Noord-Brabant
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 1 227 947,00

Participants (3)

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES
France
Net EU contribution
€ 1 068 605,00
Address
Rue Leblanc 25
75015 Paris 15

See on map

Region
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 1 068 605,00
DTS PATENT- UND RECHTSANWALTE SCHNEKENBUHL UND PARTNER MBB
Germany
Net EU contribution
€ 96 000,00
Address
Marstallstrasse 8
80539 Munchen

See on map

SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 96 000,00
STICHTING SINT MAARTENSKLINIEK
Netherlands
Net EU contribution
€ 98 250,00
Address
Hengstdal 3
6574 NA Ubbergen

See on map

Region
Oost-Nederland Gelderland Arnhem/Nijmegen
Activity type
Other
Other funding
€ 98 250,00

Partners (1)

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
Net EU contribution
€ 0,00
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne

See on map

Region
Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Région lémanique Vaud
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00