Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP)
The goal of this project is to develop an intracortical visual prosthesis that will compensate for blindness by stimulating the visual centers of the brain. This has the potential to be useful for a large fraction of the population with blindness because its brain-based approach does not require an intact optic nerve or retina.
Our approach for the ICVP consists of multiple stimulation modules implanted into the brain’s occipital lobe. These modules each contain an array of 16 electrodes that transmit information to the brain and are wirelessly controlled and powered by a transmitter placed outside of the head.
Peripheral Nerve Interface Device (PNID)
We are developing technology that will enable chronic stimulation and recording of peripheral nerves throughout the body. Devices based on this technology may eventually be used to gather motor signals for controlling prosthetic limbs, input sensory feedback from prosthetics directly into the nervous system, and treat chronic conditions through neuromodulation.
Intraspinal Microstimulation (ISMS)
Recent work at the University of Alberta (UA) has kindled interest in using intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS) as a means of restoring standing and walking for individuals with a spinal cord injury. Our research on this project involves the characterization of electrodes and the design of an implantable system for ISMS. Our combined long-term goal is to access both motor and sensory neurons in order to implement a control system in which sensory information is used to restore the ability to walk.
Intramuscular Electrode Sensor (IMES)
A multi-institutional team consisting of IIT, Northwestern University, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the Alfred Mann Foundation (AMF), the University of Colorado, and Sigenics, Inc. have developed a prosthesis control system that consists of multiple implanted single-channel sensors which provide control signals for artificial limbs.
EMG signals generated by the residual muscles at each implant site are amplified and digitized by the IMES and sent to an external controller. Where once an amputee would have only two degrees of freedom provided by surface EMG, IMES can provide six to eight, significantly enhancing limb control.