A joint laboratory has been opened in which a bio also operatesingengineer ofUCBM

The joint Bio-Medico-INAIL Campus Laboratory was officially opened at the Vigorso di Budrio (Bologna) site. The work within this dedicated space will complement that underway in the laboratories of the Advanced Research Center of the Bio-Medical Campus of Rome. The objective is to create, within the next three years, the first sensorized upper limb prosthesis implants on some of the over 11.000 patients who turn to the INAIL Prosthetic Center every year. There is a doctoral student in bio working at the headquartersingengineering of the Bio-Medical Campus. At the same time, visits by medical specialists belonging to the Neurology and Physiatry areas of the University Hospital also began, with the aim of studying patients potentially suitable to receive the implant.

The activity is the result of the partnership betweenUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma and the INAIL Prosthetic Center of Budrio, stipulated on 23 December 2013 and started, at an operational level, on 2 May. The technical manager for the University is Prof Loredana Zollo, the healthcare one is Prof.ssa Silvia Sterzi. On the INAIL side, the responsibilities are respectively of Dr. Angelo Davalli and Dr. Paolo Catitti.

The aim of the agreement is the development of an implantable system, based on the use of neural interfaces for the control of a hand prosthesis, capable of giving back to an amputee patient even 'proprioceptive' sensations, i.e. the ability to recognize the position of the body in space, and sensory 'feedback' in touching objects.

The meeting of the Coordination Group of the research project, called 'PPR11', took place on 2 December, in which, on behalf of the University, the General Director, Ing. Paolo Sormani, and the Pro-Rector for Research, Prof. Eugenio Guglielmelli. Present for INAIL were the Technical Director of the Prosthetic Center, Rinaldo Sacchetti, and the Director of the Center, Angelo Andretta. The purpose of the meeting was to take stock of the development of the activities envisaged by the agreement, in particular the analysis of the technical specifications in view of the construction of future plants.

"In these first six months – underlined the Prof Loredana Zollo – the foundations were laid for the design of the control and sensor system for future implantable prostheses. Furthermore, the research group has signed a contract with the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 Program which will have the objective of developing new interfaces for aids based on the monitoring of physiological parameters. The start of the project is expected for February".

The European team consists of eight partners and will be coordinated by the University of Elche, Alicante in Spain. The Campus Bio-Medico will in particular have the task of developing the system for monitoring and analyzing the physiological parameters linked to the functioning of the interfaces. The latter are technologies necessary for the dialogue between aids and the human body.

- ingEngineers from the Bio-Medico Campus will also have development tasks on the control systems of aids dedicated to mobility and manipulation. INAIL is also involved in the project, as a prosthetic experimentation center that operates in collaboration with our University.