A neurally interfaced upper limb prosthetic system for chronic use

The project aims to develop and make usable in 36 months a neural interfacing upper limb prosthetic system designed for chronic use through the pursuit of the following objectives:

  • Development of a bidirectional embedded control subsystem of the prosthesis, characterized by the closure of a force control loop on the patient, in which the force exerted by the prosthesis on the object during gripping is modulated by tactile information transferred to the patient through neural stimulation .
  • Development of a fully implantable neural interfacing subsystem for ENG signal recording and neural stimulation. It will be responsible for (i) acquisition and pre-processing of the neural signal for the control of the prosthesis; (ii) generation of neural stimulation electrical signals. The subsystem will be put in communication, via wireless bridge, with the prosthetic device.
  • Development of an interfacing subsystem for recording and decoding user intention starting from the muscle signal. The classifier will be developed and made embedded.
  • Development of a wireless transmission/reception subsystem. The wireless transmission will have to handle both the necessary power supply and the recorded ENG signals and stimulation patterns to be sent to the nerve.
  • Validation of the prototype implantable system on medium/large size animals, subject to approval by the reference Ethics Committee. Evaluation of the biostability and biocompatibility of the developed system.
  • Clinical validation atUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma of the integrated system, subject to approval by the Ethics Committee UCBM and the Ministry of Health.

The project will benefit from the previous experiences of UCBM on the clinical experimentation of neural interfaces and the results deriving from the PPR2 project and from the PRIN/Handbot project, mainly focused on basic research aspects.

Within the PPR AS 1/3 project, a completely implantable module (responsible for both recording and neural stimulation) and a miniaturized wearable module (to be potentially included in the socket) for recording myoelectric signals and classifying the user intention, as continuity of the PPR2 project. The project will carry out both solutions in parallel and then compare them through clinical validation on amputees.