A technology that lets quadriplegic man move his limbs

About million of the people have a spinal cord injury after accidents that render them paralyzed shoulder down. Looking at these people, the researchers are constantly in a hunt for developing new technologies to help find a solution for making their lives normal. Nowadays, the commonly used technology to treat the paralysis patients is the neuroprosthetic therapy.

Researcher Dr. Bolu Ajiboye and his team at the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland has developed a technology for the quadriplegia patients. You must be wondering what’s quadriplegia? No worries, quadriplegia means the complete paralysis neck down after a spinal cord injury. They implanted sensors into the brain section dealing with the motor control. The sensors turned the brain into a brain-computer interface which helped the patient tell the computer what to do. This technology was built to build the gap between the patient’s brain and his muscles. The device is not a cure for paralysis but this electrical stimulation system is just a solution to overcome the paralysis disadvantage.

The neuroprosthetic technology, that is, the brain-computer interface had to be trained before to learn which movement corresponds to which signal using a virtual reality limb before being used. After this, the researchers were successful in coding certain brain signals and translating it into electrical pulses. These electrical pulses were then read as commands to be followed by the electrodes wrapped around the limbs such as hands of the patients. However, the only disadvantage of the technology was that the movements were slower and not that precise than the human movements or the virtual reality arms function. The ultimate goal of coming up with this new technology is to restore the hopes of the paralyzed individuals to live life normally.

The revolutionary brain-computer interface device helps make the communication better between the brain and body parts such as limbs. The device is still for lab use only. This proof-of-principle is just a demonstration of what the neuroprosthetic technology has for the future. This groundbreaking motor neuroprosthetic technology is surely going to make the future of the paralyzed individuals even brighter than it is today.

Navya has joined Medical Device News on the 1 January 2017 as a content writer. She has previously worked as a copyeditor and data scientist. She has recently started her career in the field of content writing due to her interest in reading and writing. She has a Master’s degree in biotechnology. Her hobbies are reading, surfing online and going on adventurous trips. She can be reached at navya@medicaldevicenews.net