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Abstract 15: Macaques Implanted with Regenerative Peripheral Nerve Interfaces Perform Dexterous Prosthesis Finger Movements

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open: April 2016 - Volume 4 - Issue 4S - p 42
doi: 10.1097/01.GOX.0000488947.99751.58
PRS PSRC Podium Proofs 2016

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Ian C. Sando, MD, Melanie G. Urbanchek, PhD, Zachary T. Irwin, MS, Shoshana L. Woo, MD, Philip Vu, MSE, Jana D. Moon, BS, Kara L. Gillbert, HS, Cynthia A. Chestek, PhD, Paul S. Cederna, MD

From the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

PURPOSE: Regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces (RPNIs) are promising for interfacing human intentions to myoelectric prostheses. Rat studies led to proof of RPNI long-term function and high signal-to-noise ratio with no adverse biological effects. However, true voluntary fine control of fingers and hand prostheses would be more convincing with macaque implanted RPNIs.

METHODS: Two macaques had RPNIs implanted (n = 3/macaque) in the forearm. The RPNI consists of a free muscle graft implanted on the end of a transected nerve fascicle. Intramuscular electromyogram (EMG) electrodes were implanted in each RPNI. Macaques were trained to perform index finger movements to acquire virtual targets on a computer screen. Finger position was recorded via a flex sensor on the index finger.

RESULTS: At harvest, RPNIs were well vascularized but smaller in size than when implanted. For the continuous EMG decode using 10-fold cross-validation, the resulting predicted finger position had a correlation coefficient ρ = 0.82 between predicted and true finger positions. The EMG decode correctly classified 97.7% of movements (of 261 total movements). RPNI muscle fibers were continuing to regenerate after implantation for 1 year.

CONCLUSIONS: Macaques voluntarily controlled virtual finger movements with signals transferred through implanted RPNIs.

© 2016 American Society of Plastic Surgeons