Wireless implantable neuroprosthesis to restore hand function in tetraplegics

Period of Performance: 07/01/2006 - 06/30/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NDI Medical, LLC
Cleveland, OH 44122
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term goal of this project is to develop and commercialize a neurostimulation product comprised of a small battery-powered implanted stimulator and electrodes placed in the muscles of the forearm and hand to restore hand grasp and release in people with tetraplegia. While the effectiveness of such systems has been well documented and patients with the Freehand System have demonstrated excellent usage in long term follow up, uptake in the market remained extremely low and the company producing the Freehand discontinued its sale. Thus, the ability to provide a commercially successful system for spinal injury patients has proven extremely difficult. We believe the true commercial innovation in this technology lies in the development of a system whose technology provides true freedom from complicated implementation and is simple both surgically for physicians and clinically for the users. The goal of this Phase I project is to determine the feasibility of our approach to stimulate the forearm and hand to achieve a functional hand grasp and release in persons with tetraplegia and to prove the performance of this new technology. We plan to develop a procedure for both clinicians and patients that is simple and less time consuming than current surgical options for restoration of hand grasp.