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BCI WIMAGINE® TECHNOLOGY
A Brain-Spine Interface to help paraplegic patients regain mobility
The Brain-Spine Interface (BSI) project aims to prove that it is possible for a person with serious motor disabilities (e.g., paraplegic patients) to regain mobility after training thanks to BSI. BSI uses a brain-computer interface coupled to a spinal cord stimulation technology to enable patients to remobilize their body by decoding brain electrical activity and stimulating spinal cord activity.
This technology relies on the fact that moving or imagining a movement generates similar electrical activity in the motor cortex. ElectroCorticoGram (EcoG) signals are recorded and decoded in real-time to provide command signals to the spinal cord electrical stimulation system, which will in turn mobilize muscle functions. With training, this can enable patients to regain the ability to walk.
BSI is controlled by a user who will simply imagine movements, to which the body will then respond. EcoGs produced by a subject’s movement intent are recorded by the WIMAGINE® implant that is surgically implemented inside the skull in front of the motor cortex.
EcoGs are decoded in real time in order to control a spinal cord stimulator. This application offers the potential for paraplegic persons to regain the ability to walk and thus greatly enhance their quality of life.
• Lorach, H. et al. Walking naturally after spinal cord injury using a brain–spine interface. Nature 618, 126–133 (2023).
• Mestais, C. et al. "WIMAGINE: wireless 64-channel ECoG recording implant for long term clinical applications." IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering 23.1 (2014): 10-21.
• Benabid, A.L., et al. "An exoskeleton controlled by an epidural wireless brain– machine interface in a tetraplegic patient: a proof-ofconcept demonstration." The Lancet Neurology 18.12 (2019): 1112-1122.
• 25 proprietary patents
Work carried out at Clinatec, Edmond J. Safra biomedical research center, quadripartite structure composed of CEA, Fonds de dotation Clinatec, Grenoble-Alpes University Hospital and Grenoble-Alpes University.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.