Neuroprostheses use electrical current to restore nerve function in patients who suffer from neural impairments. Familiar examples include hearing aids and cardiac pacemakers. One class of neuroprostheses helps restore movement to paralyzed patients. Examples for stroke patients include hand rehabilitation systems and drop foot stimulators. However, fundamental and technological problems limit the functionality of current neuroprostheses. The goal of our group is to improve this functionality by combining research activities ranging from basic to applied sciences. The group's core areas include interface technology for electrical stimulation, neural control models for hand and leg motion, and developing control systems for clinical rehabilitation.
Our group was originally established in 1994, in a close collaboration between the Automatic Control Laboratory of ETH Zurich and the Spinal Cord Injury Center of the University Hospital Balgrist, with the aim of developing and applying state of the art neuroprostheses for spinal cord injured and stroke patients. Throughout the years we have gained expertise in modeling, development and application of neuroprostheses for walking and grasping in clinical rehabilitation. Recently, the group has diversified to include both non-invasive and invasive applications.
Prof. Silvestro Micera
Automatic Control Laboratory