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Neuroprosthetics

Historical Development of Neuroprosthetics: – First cochlear implant in 1957. – First motor prosthesis for foot drop in 1961. – First auditory brainstem implant in […]

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Historical Development of Neuroprosthetics:
– First cochlear implant in 1957.
– First motor prosthesis for foot drop in 1961.
– First auditory brainstem implant in 1977.
– Peripheral nerve bridge implanted in 1981.
– Lumbar anterior root implant in 1988.

Types of Neuroprosthetics:
– Sensory prosthetics for visual impairments.
– Auditory prosthetics like cochlear implants.
– Prosthetics for pain relief, such as spinal cord stimulators.
– Motor prosthetics for conscious movement control.
– Bladder control implants for spinal cord lesions.

Challenges and Obstacles in Neuroprosthetics Development:
– Fine-tuning filters, wireless signal transmission, and sensory feedback integration.
– Continuous experimentation and innovation.
– Collaboration between researchers, clinicians, and patients.
– Accurate mathematical modeling for prosthetic design.
– Overcoming biocompatibility issues in brain implantation.

Technological Aspects of Neuroprosthetics:
– Power consumption optimization for device efficiency.
– Miniaturization of implantable devices.
– Wireless data transmission for continuous recording of neuronal signals.
– Correct implantation targeting and brain adaptation.
– Technologies like LFPs, movable electrical probes, and image-guided surgical techniques.

Clinical Applications and Success of Neuroprosthetics:
– Cochlear implants’ success in spoken language development.
– Trials of retinal prostheses showing positive results.
– Sacral anterior root stimulator trials for bladder control.
– Research on motor neuroprosthetics enabling movement restoration.
– Positive outcomes in managing symptoms with sacral nerve stimulation for urinary urge incontinence.

Neuroprosthetics (Wikipedia)

Neuroprosthetics (also called neural prosthetics) is a discipline related to neuroscience and biomedical engineering concerned with developing neural prostheses. They are sometimes contrasted with a brain–computer interface, which connects the brain to a computer rather than a device meant to replace missing biological functionality.

Neural prostheses are a series of devices that can substitute a motor, sensory or cognitive modality that might have been damaged as a result of an injury or a disease. Cochlear implants provide an example of such devices. These devices substitute the functions performed by the eardrum and stapes while simulating the frequency analysis performed in the cochlea. A microphone on an external unit gathers the sound and processes it; the processed signal is then transferred to an implanted unit that stimulates the auditory nerve through a microelectrode array. Through the replacement or augmentation of damaged senses, these devices are intended to improve the quality of life for those with disabilities.

These implantable devices are also commonly used in animal experimentation as a tool to aid neuroscientists in developing a greater understanding of the brain and its functioning. By wirelessly monitoring the brain's electrical signals sent out by electrodes implanted in the subject's brain, the subject can be studied without the device affecting the results. Accurately probing and recording the electrical signals in the brain would help better understand the relationship among a local population of neurons that are responsible for a specific function.

Neural implants are designed to be as small as possible in order to be minimally invasive, particularly in areas surrounding the brain, eyes, or cochlea. These implants typically communicate with their prosthetic counterparts wirelessly. Additionally, power is currently received through wireless power transmission through the skin. The tissue surrounding the implant is usually highly sensitive to temperature rise, meaning that power consumption must be minimal in order to prevent tissue damage.

The neuroprosthetic currently undergoing the most widespread use is the cochlear implant, with over 736,900 in use worldwide as of 2019.

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