The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is providing a $1.5 million grant to researchers at the University of Washington to continue work on a system that uses neural signaling and other technologies to restore hand and arm movements for those who’ve suffered from spinal cord injuries.
The effort is known as the Brain-Computer-Spinal-Interface Project, and it is being led by Dr. Joshua Smith in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Dr. Adrienne Fairhall in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics and Physics; and Dr. Chet Moritz in Rehabilitation Medicine and Physiology & Biophysics.
“We are committed to empowering creative researchers who are taking risks and making meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and in communities with their discoveries,” said Susan M. Coliton, vice president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.
Here’s a description of how the technology would work from a press release issued today by the foundation:
“The new system will record a patient’s intent to move a hand and arm via electrodes in the brain, then decode the user intention using an implanted computer and exchanging data with an external control unit. Finally, it will deliver real-time stimulation to the spinal cord to re-animate paralyzed limbs.”
Previously on GeekWire: These researchers just figured out how to control each other’s brains with the Internet