Brain Controlled Spinal Interface for Arm Function

The restoration of hand and arm functions is the highest treatment priority for people with cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Closed-loop neural interfaces can be one intervention to improve hand and arm function for individuals. Epidural stimulation of the spinal cord surface may offer fatigue resistant contractions and synergistic movement similar to intraspinal stimulation.

In designing a Brain Controlled Spinal Interface for upper extremity function, population activity of neurons recorded from intracortical local field potentials or electrocorticography can be used as an alternative control signal since they demonstrate increased long-term stability compared to spike-based decoding. To accelerate clinical translation, we use population activity of neurons recording and epidural stimulation below the spinal cord lesion in a rodent model of SCI.

BCSI diagram