Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota — Researchers at the University of Minnesota have made a major breakthrough that allows people to control a robotic arm using only their minds. The research has the potential to help millions of people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.
The study is published in Scientific Reports, a Nature research journal.
“This is the first time in the world that people can operate a robotic arm to reach and grasp objects in a complex 3D environment using only their thoughts without a brain implant,” said Bin He, a University of Minnesota biomedical engineering professor and lead researcher on the study. “Just by imagining moving their arms, they were able to move the robotic arm.”
The noninvasive technique, called electroencephalography (EEG) based brain-computer interface, records weak electrical activity of the subjects’ brain through a specialized, high-tech EEG cap fitted with 64 electrodes and converts the “thoughts” into action by advanced signal processing and machine learning.
Eight healthy human subjects completed the experimental sessions of the study wearing the EEG cap. Subjects gradually learned to imagine moving their own arms without actually moving them to control a robotic arm in 3D space. They started from learning to control a virtual cursor on computer screen and then learned to control a robotic arm to reach and grasp objects in fixed locations on a table. Eventually, they were able to move the robotic arm to reach and grasp objects in random locations on a table and move objects from the table to a three-layer shelf by only thinking about these movements.
All eight subjects could control a robotic arm to pick up objects in fixed locations with an average success rate above 80% and move objects from the table onto the shelf with an average success rate above 70%.
“This is exciting as all subjects accomplished the tasks using a completely noninvasive technique. We see a big potential for this research to help people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases to become more independent without a need for surgical implants,” He said.
The researchers said the brain-computer interface technology works due to the geography of the motor cortex — the area of the cerebrum that governs movement. When humans move, or think about a movement, neurons in the motor cortex produce tiny electric currents. Thinking about a different movement activates a new assortment of neurons, a phenomenon confirmed by cross-validation using functional MRI in He’s previous study. Sorting out these assortments using advanced signal processing laid the groundwork for the brain-computer interface used by the University of Minnesota researchers, He said.
The robotic arm research builds upon He’s research published three years ago in which subjects were able to fly a small quadcopter using the noninvasive EEG technology. The research gained international media attention.
“Three years ago, we weren’t sure moving a more complex robotic arm to grasp and move objects using this brain-computer interface technology could even be achieved,” He said. “We’re happily surprised that it worked with a high success rate and in a group of people.”
He anticipates the next step of his research will be to further develop this brain-computer interface technology realizing a brain-controlled robotic prosthetic limb attached to a person’s body or examine how this technology could work with someone who has had a stroke or is paralyzed.
In addition to Professor He, who also serves as director of the University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine, the research team includes biomedical engineering postdoctoral researcher Jianjun Meng (first author); biomedical engineering graduate student Bryan Baxter; Institute for Engineering in Medicine staff member Angeliki Bekyo; and biomedical engineering undergraduate students Shuying Zhang and Jaron Olsoe. The researchers are affiliated with the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering and the Medical School
The University of Minnesota study was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the University of Minnesota’s MnDRIVE (Minnesota’s Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy) Initiative funded by the Minnesota Legislature.
Source: University of Minnesota
New York, New York – PAVmed Inc., a highly differentiated, multi-product medical device company, has filed a 510(k) premarket notification submission with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its first product, the PortIO Intraosseous Infusion System.
Lishan Aklog, M.D., chairman and CEO of PAVmed, said “We are excited to have achieved this important corporate milestone, the submission of our first product for regulatory clearance, on schedule and under budget. Our growth strategy is built on a capital and time efficient business model which enables us to pursue an expanding multi-product pipeline. PortIO is the first FDA submission from our pipeline and we look forward to additional regulatory submissions and product commercialization in 2017 and beyond.”
PAVmed’s Chief Medical Officer, Brian J. deGuzman M.D., explained “PortIO was designed to eliminate many of the shortcomings of existing implantable vascular access devices and intraosseous infusion systems. We expect PortIO to provide physicians with a rapid and efficient system to establish an intraosseous route for delivery of medications, fluids and other substances. We look forward to receiving FDA clearance and beginning commercialization of this exciting product in 2017.”
Timothy P. Murphy, M.D., a member of PAVmed’s medical advisory board, Professor and Director of the Vascular Disease Research Center at the Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School and the former President of the Society of Interventional Radiology, stated “We eagerly anticipate PortIO’s regulatory clearance and introduction into clinical practice. We expect PortIO to have significant advantages relative to traditional ports and intraosseous devices, which gives it the potential to be game-changing with respect to improved outcomes and reduced costs.”
The PortIO Intraosseous Infusion System consists of an implantable vascular access device and insertion kit. Instead of a catheter located in a vein, it has a short extension from the device, which a physician inserts into a bone, leaving the device to reside completely beneath the skin. This allows direct access to the bone marrow, which is a well-established route for the delivery of medications, fluids and other substances. PortIO can be inserted and removed near-percutaneously without requiring a surgical pocket or significant dissection and will not require confirmation of the position of the tip by x-ray or other means. Once in place, the device can be accessed by the nurse through the skin using the same techniques as existing implantable ports.
Cleveland, Ohio – The global medical sensors market is estimated to reach $15.01 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2016 and 2022. People are increasingly adopting home healthcare services owing to the rising costs of medical treatments in hospitals and medical care clinics. With this, the demand for various healthcare devices is expected to increase in the next few years.
The introduction of new medical sensors in the global market is expected to contribute toward the growth of the global medical sensors market in the years to come. The base year considered is 2015 and the market forecast provided is between 2016 and 2022. The medical sensors market is segmented into application, type, placement, and geography. Recently, Hitachi Medical Corp. and Redlen Technologies Inc. announced their plans to jointly develop and introduce a direct conversion semiconductor X-ray detector, a medical device for new photon counting computed tomography (PCCT) systems.
The medical sensors market report analyses the market in a view of different types of medical sensors, application, and geography. A detailed qualitative analysis of the factors responsible for driving and restraining the growth of the global medical sensors market and future opportunities has been provided in the report.
- North America held the largest share of the medical sensors market in 2015
- ECG sensors held the largest share of the medical sensors market in 2015
- APAC expected to witness highest growth during the forecast period
Major applications of the medical sensors market include imaging, medical therapeutics, diagnosis, monitoring, and fitness & wellness. Monitoring is the leading application in the medical sensors market. Moreover, increasing market penetration of home healthcare-based medical devices has enabled patients with the ability to self-diagnose and monitor long-term illnesses using these products. The market for ingestible medical sensors is expected to grow at the highest CAGR over the next six years. Major factors expected to boost segment demand include growing demand for digital medicine and sensor-enabled pills.
The key players of the medical sensors market include ST Microelectronics (U.S), Measurement Specialties (U.S), Medtronic Plc (Ireland), Honeywell International, Inc. (U.S), Analog Devices (U.S.), Smiths Medical (U.K.), First Sensor AG (U.S), and NXP Semiconductors N.V (Netherlands).
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