The main objective of SUAW is to achieve a European Program for some restoration of locomotion on paraplegic patients. SUAW is a demonstration project, the objective of which is to implant six selected patients in six different european countries at the same period of time, and to evaluate them for a period of nine months.
The only realistic possibility, at present time, for restoring locomotion is to stimulate the sublesional muscles by means of an electrical current, in order to generate an artificial contraction of muscle fibers. A European clinical network, grouping 12 rehabilitation centres in the twelve European countries was created in 1992, in order to prepare the clinical protocols, corresponding to the 5 phases of the project: selection of patient, presurgical training, surgical implantation on patients, post surgical training and daily use. Everything is, at the present time, ready on the clinical side and a non profit association was created in which are all the clinicians, scientists and engineers having participated to the project. The rehabilitation team belongs to the Spinal Injury Centre of Southport. The surgical team from Aalborg, was especially trained for the implantation of electrodes on animal and few tests were made on patients. The technical team is coordinated by Faculty of Medicine, University of Montpellier. In the framework of this project a new industrial dynamics has been created with more powerful partners, able to invest, in addition to the European community contribution. In this way, IBM France, THOMSON CSF, BTS Italy and ROESSINGH R and D, Netherlands, are the industrial partners. The six selected patients, after implantation, will be evaluated by the European clinical network for a period of nine months.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
66386 St. Ingbert
91105 Corbeil Essonnes
7522 AH Enschede