Battelle has developed a breakthrough technology that empowers paralyzed patients to regain conscious control of their fingers, hand and wrist. The Battelle NeuroLife Neural Bypass Technology skips damaged areas of the nervous system to allow the brain to communicate directly with muscles.
For a person with paralysis or other nervous system injury, everyday tasks can be overwhelming – if not impossible. Battelle’s technology aims to help patients overcome these everyday hurdles.
With our technology, a participant in our clinical trial initially was able to pick up and hold a spoon using his own thoughts. Now, two years into the clinical trial, the participant’s level of function has progressed to picking up and transferring objects, stirring liquids, swiping a credit card and even playing a guitar video game. The results were published in 2016 in the journal Nature.
NeuroLife works by bypassing damaged areas of an individual’s nervous system and communicating directly with the muscles in the paralyzed limb. A team of surgeons at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, implanted a minute chip (4x4mm) with the motor cortex area of the participant’s brain—the area responsible for voluntary movement. The chip picks up electrical signals from the brain and transmits the data to a computer, which uses Battelle’s decoding software. The information is then passed on to an arm cuff which contains specialized electrodes that stimulate the muscles and cause specific movements.
The chip picks up electrical signals from the brain and transmits them to a computer for processing/decoding – essentially interpreting what the participant is thinking about, going around his spinal cord injury and transiting those signals into a language that his muscles can understand, so that he can think about a movement and then hopefully achieve it.
Patients with paralysis are able to perform specific movements with their own thoughts using NeuroLife’s non-invasive, high-definition neuromuscular electrical stimulation.