Nerve-on-a-Chip to Improve Functionality of Neuroprosthetic Devices

Read about the neuroprosthetic advancement at MEDGADGETS:

“Scientists at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have created a special device to be able to stimulate and record signals from and to peripheral nerve fibers on a specialty chip. The device can be used to repeatedly stimulate and record the returning electric activity with high resolution, potentially helping to develop future neuroprosthetic implants that can help restore physical ability and sensory perception in people with a variety of disabilities.

Neuroprosthetics are implantable devices that have electrode arrays that can mimic some of the electrical activity of nerves. For example, spinal cord stimulation can help to restore walking and maybe even bring a sense of touch to prosthetic arms and hands.

Fine tuning of neuroprosthetic devices is currently challenging due to the small number of electrodes that can be currently simultaneously used in real patients. To overcome this, the EPFL team has developed a system that can stimulate and read nerve fibers explanted from the body as though they’re still inside.”


“EPFL scientists have developed a miniaturized electronic platform for the stimulation and recording of peripheral nerve fibers on a chip. By modulating and rapidly recording nerve activity with a high signal-to-noise ratio, the platform paves the way to using chips to improve neuroprosthetic designs.”

Prof. Stéphanie P. Lacour holds the Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Neuroprosthetic Technology at the School of Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Read the Full Open Access Article at Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 4403 (2018)

A microfabricated nerve-on-a-chip platform for rapid assessment of neural conduction in explanted peripheral nerve fibers

Authors: Sandra Gribi, Sophie du Bois de Dunilac, Diego Ghezzi & Stéphanie P. Lacour

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