A Mechanical/Neural Limb Prosthetic Interface

Period of Performance: 05/01/2003 - 10/31/2005

$252K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Biolok International, Inc.-orthogen Corp.
Springfield, NJ 07081
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (Provided by Applicant): Each year over 6,100 Americans undergo upper limb amputation requiring the use of prosthetic devices. With current devices, the patient is unable to mechanically and electrically control the prosthetic to mimic normal function. When nerves are severed or disrupted, the information for control is still present. A better, more natural control of the prosthesis could be achieved if that information could be used to operate a prosthesis. To-date, no stable, reliable interface between the electronics of the prosthesis and the nervous system exists. Additionally, soft tissue, press-fit attachment to the stump is less than ideal. Skeletal attachment of the device would greatly facilitate mechanical control and utility. The primary objective of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of a skeletally attached interface that can effect both mechanical and electrical control. A peripheral nerve interface has been developed in which slips of muscle are isolated from a host muscle in the environment of a recording electrode. A combined transcutaneous port/skeletal attachment device, has been developed with surface microtexturing that allow a stable connection of skin, connective tissues and bone to its surface. The proposed experiments are designed to validate aspects of both parts of the system, leading to its practical utility.