The contract provides Cyberkinetics, Case and the FES Center with financial resources to support the joint development of a neuroprosthetic system capable of restoring partial arm and hand function to individuals with extensive paralysis due to high cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). The joint project will combine limb movement technology developed at Case and the FES Center with brain-interface technology developed at Cyberkinetics. The proposed neuroprosthetic system would offer human users an advanced system incorporating Cyberkinetics' BrainGateTM Neural Interface System (BrainGate System) to sense intended movement and generate command signals. The command signals would drive a hybrid FES-orthosis, an orthotic device for the upper limbs, designed to provide the user with thought-controlled arm and hand movement through the use of the patient's own muscles. The purpose of the device will be, ultimately, to restore voluntary control of paralyzed muscles.
"We are very excited to combine Cyberkinetics' unique expertise in human brain interfaces with the FES Center's unique expertise in using functional electrical stimulation to restore meaningful arm and hand function to individuals with complete arm paralysis," stated Robert Kirsch, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Case Western University and the Cleveland FES Center.