Physiological mobility and sensitivity can be lost during life due to physical trauma or other adverse medical conditions that damage the nervous system leading to permanent disabilities. The objective of the project is to target this problem developing a new peripheral nerve interface, capable of conveying information between brain and organs. This kind of medical devices generally record the electrical stimulus travelling within the nerve, analyze it and finally artificially stimulate the nerve below the injury to replicate the natural response of the body.
Although a few partial solutions are described in the literature, no complete device currently exists for human subjects, especially for the recording section. Following extensive analysis of the background literature, PN Relay proposed a full-stack system for electroneurographic recording. The design includes a minimally invasive cuff-electrode collecting the signal at a decade of locations on the nerve surface and feeding an implanted classifier. The electrode and the processing units are wholly implantable and able of sending the classification output outside, with a sustainable data rate and limited overheating. Once transmitted externally, the results of the classifier could be potentially used to drive an actuator.
A strategy for reaching the market within five years has been drafted, together with the design of a first prototype, that would be hopefully realized and tested by the end of 2020. The feasibility of the project requires meaningful collaborations with research groups and companies in the sector and few of them have been already concluded. Entering the market as a first mover in recording interfaces, the device could have multiple applications, not only in peripheral nerve bypass nanotechnology, but even for functional electrical stimulation, brain-computer interfaces and bionic prostheses control.
Our vision is to disrupt the whole rehabilitation process for millions of patients, enabling the chronic application of selective recording from the central and peripheral nervous system.
PRINCIPAL ACADEMIC TUTOR
Prof. Maurizio MAGARINI, DEIB Politecnico di Milano
OTHERS ACADEMIC TUTORS
Prof. Umberto SPAGNOLINI, DEIB Politecnico di Milano
Prof. Danilo DEMARCHI, Electronics Dep. Politenico di Torino
Prof. Lorenza DRAGHI, DEIB Politecnico di Milano
San Gerardo Monza, Wise SRL
Dr. Paola ALBERTI, San Gerardo Hospital Monza
Federica CAMOSSI, Biomedical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Federico VISMARRA, Physics Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Stefano CROTTI, Physics of Complex Systems, Politecnico di Torino
Fabiana DEL BONO, Biomedical Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Gabriele GATANI, Nanotechnologies for ICTs, Politecnico di Torino
Stefano PANARO, Electronic Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Beatrice FEDERICI, Biomedical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano