Approximately 250,000 Americans currently suffer from spinal cord injury or disease, which can cause paralysis and other deteriorations in quality of life. Our project's objective is to build a prosthetic device that has potential to help Spinal Cord Injury patients regain their ability to control their body's movements and, in particular, their ability to walk. Multiple labs have shown that it is possible to evoke walking patterns in the spinal cord directly, via electrodes that stimulate the surface of the spinal cord. Additionally, stimulating the cord electrically at certain cites have been shown to increase or decrease the speed of walking patterns. These studies have potential to be incorporated into a multiple-electrode prosthetic that can evoke and control walking output directly from the spinal cord, bypassing injury sites that block commands from the brain. Our proposed work uses a biocompatible, conformable array of electrodes that can activate walking output when stimulating electrically the surface of the mammalian spinal cord (we use the neonatal rat spinal cord as our model). Our proposed experiments are designed to identify optimal multi-site locations on the spinal cord surface that, when electrically stimulated at low amplitudes and frequencies, initiate and control spinal cord locomotor (i.e. walking) output. Identification of such sites and stimulation patterns is necessary to our overall objective of creating a multi-electrode, implantable prosthetic for restoration of walking capability in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) patients. ? ?

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01EB006179-01A1
Application #
7211585
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-MDCN-K (50))
Program Officer
Peng, Grace
Project Start
2007-02-15
Project End
2010-11-30
Budget Start
2007-02-15
Budget End
2007-11-30
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2007
Total Cost
$347,157
Indirect Cost
Name
Georgia Institute of Technology
Department
Engineering (All Types)
Type
Schools of Engineering
DUNS #
097394084
City
Atlanta
State
GA
Country
United States
Zip Code
30332
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