Development of an intraneural peripheral stimulation paradigm for reversing hand paralysis in non-human primates

Regaining the capacity to grasp and manipulate objects is of crucial importance to people living with upper limb paralysis. Functional electrical stimulation of forearm muscles has been used to reanimate paralyzed muscles. However, complex setups requiring multiple muscles to be independently implanted and simultaneously controlled have so far hindered the functional restoration of hand and wrist movements beyond predetermined grasp types. Intraneural peripheral interfaces that present high spatial selectivity in the recruitment of muscles represent an alternative solution to overcome these limitations. Here we present the first steps towards the development of a neuroprosthesis based on intraneural stimulation for the restoration of precise hand movements in a non-human primate (NHP) model of transient paralysis. We investigated the fascicular topography and the branching patterns of the three main nerves involved in grasping (ulnar, median and radial nerves) to determine the optimal anatomical location of the intraneural interface. Using this morphological data, we built an anatomically realistic computational model of the nerves and their interactions with electrical stimulation. Simulations guided the design of an intraneural implant targeting the different fascicules of each nerve in order to maximize the selective recruitment of hand muscles. We are currently validating the functional properties of these intraneural electrodes experimentally. Our objective is to develop stimulation paradigms that evoke a repertoire of grasping movements in transitorily paralyzed NHP.

Authors: *M. BADI1, S. WURTH1, M. KAESER2, M. CAPOGROSSO2, S. DURAND3, W. RAFFOUL3, G. COURTINE4, E. ROUILLER2, S. MICERA1;
1Bertarelli Fndn. Chair in Translational Neural Engin., Swiss Federal Inst. of Technol. (EPFL), Geneva, Switzerland; 2Univ. of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland; 3Ctr. Hospitalier Universitaire de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 4CNP BMI EPFL, Geneva, Switzerland
Disclosures: M. Badi: None. S. Wurth: None. M. Kaeser: None. M. Capogrosso: None. S. Durand: None. W. Raffoul: None. G. Courtine: None. E. Rouiller: None. S. Micera: None.

Grant Support
FNS grant NeuGrasp [205321_170032]
Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering
Bertarelli Foundation

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