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Towards an active bypass for neural reconnection

Objective

ByAxon is devoted to the development of a new generation of sensors and electrodes based on nanotechnology materials for neural interfacing. We aim to design and build a prototype of an active implant that could work directly at the spinal cord (SC) level. This implant will be primary focused on restoring the transmission of electrical signals in the injured SC, acting as an active local bypass, something not possible with current technology. Further applications might include deep brain stimulation or retinal implants, among others.
Current neural interfacing approaches are based on detecting electric potentials at the brain level, and/or triggering functional electrical stimulation (FES) through electrodes at muscular or SC levels. Important present drawbacks are the large number of cables and electrodes they require and, specially, the lack of sensory feedback. The ultimate non-contact sensing devices (magnetoencephalography) detect magnetic-field pulses generated by potentials at the brain, but require cryogenic temperatures, and, hence, are not portable. We will exploit here the enhanced properties of nanostructured materials to develop improved room temperature magnetoresistance-based high-resolution magnetic sensors. This will allow tackling not only the brain but also the SC directly. We pursuit a novel integrated interface comprising both sensing and stimulation at the SC level. To reach this aim, we will develop FES electrodes of enhanced adhesion and efficiency by using nanowire coatings.
ByAxon is supported by an interdisciplinary consortium, going from material scientists and electronic experts to biologists and clinicians. Our nanotechnology-based approach offers a novel perspective and will be complementary to, but independent from, present neural regenerative techniques. Our technology promises significant outcomes towards the development of an active local bypass and it has the potential to provide much-needed breakthroughs in future neuromedicine.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/coating and films
  • /engineering and technology/nanotechnology
  • /medical and health sciences/medical biotechnology/medical bioproducts/implants
  • /engineering and technology/nanotechnology/nano-materials

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-1-2016-2017
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Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

FUNDACION IMDEA NANOCIENCIA
Address
Ciudad Universitaria De Cantoblanco - Calle Faraday 9
28049 Madrid
Spain
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 212 500

Participants (5)

SCUOLA INTERNAZIONALE SUPERIORE DI STUDI AVANZATI DI TRIESTE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 636 960
Address
Via Bonomea 265
34136 Trieste
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
SERVICIO DE SALUD DE CASTILLA LA MANCHA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 243 569,31
Address
Avenida Rio Guadiana 4
45007 Toledo
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
France
EU contribution
€ 1 161 903,75
Address
Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Mfd-diagnostics GmbH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 287 500
Address
Mikroforum Ring 2
55234 Wendelsheim
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 209 624,44
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations