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About

Project Overview

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NerveRepack directly addresses the shortcomings of the current state-of-the-art (SoA) of medical devices targeting people with amputated or paralyzed limbs:

  1. There are no commercial / medical approved devices able to interface the injured or damaged nerves involved in motor functions with external technology aids such as exoprostheses and exoskeletons;

  2. The deterioration of nerves leads to deterioration of muscles and very often the myoelectric prostheses are not efficiently helping people;

  3. People with myoelectric exoprosthesis or exoskeleton are not feeling the sensations associated with the movements and the tactile interaction of the person connected/ wearing these mechatronic aids with the environment is missing.

The challenge addressed by NerveRepack is the lack of exoprotheses and exoskeletons that offer people with nerve damage the opportunity to regain some of their motor range and peripheral sensations through direct brain control. Therefore, NerveRepack proposes innovative implantable interfaces (architecture and technology) linking the healthy sections of the nerves to a new generation of exoprotheses and exoskeletons, to enable bidirectional communication between the two, thus allowing control via nerve impulses of the artificial aids and feedback from peripheral electrical sensors to the nerves.

Electrodes will be the primary bidirectional interface to the nerves, followed by the implantable module, comprising an ASIC forsignal processing, a microcontroller, an antenna for radio communication, a coil for wireless power charging and a supercapacitor for energy storage. To enable data communication to the mechatronic structures, as well as their power management and control (via AI modules) an embedded system will be designed, fabricated, and tested. This system will then be integrated into the mechatronic structures of exoprosthesis or exoskeletons. Due to the presence of bidirectional implantable electrodes a close loop between the user’s brain and the device’s control system will be created, with the AI module being used to learn and interpret the user’s synaptic signals. All the components and modules will be designed, fabricated, and tested with demonstration being assured by integrating the neural implantable systems with exoprostheses and exoskeletons into three demonstrators aimed at different categories of patients: with forearm amputation, with lower limbs paralysis and with single leg paralysis.

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