14.2. Developing Neuroprosthetic Treatments for Spinal Cord Injury
Dr. Chet Moritz, Assistant Professor, Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington School of Medicine, conducts research in brain-computer interfaces and neuroprosthetic technology. The goal of his research is to develop systems that can bypass damaged areas of the spinal cord and restore voluntary control of movement to paralyzed muscles. His research uses a combination of animal and human studies.
In this presentation, Dr. Moritz summarizes the state of the art in this field and describes his study using brain activity to control Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) to stimulate the muscles of a paralyzed wrist. In addition to direct muscle stimulation, another promising approach is intraspinal stimulation. This technique was nearing its first clinical trial at the time of this talk. Dr. Moritz explains intraspinal stimulation and his work generating movements of the hand and arm.