30 November 2021

At the global level

A resident of Skolkovo performed the first operation in Russia to implant electrodes that transmit tactile sensations from prostheses

Resident of the Skolkovo Foundation (VEB Group.The Motorika company, engaged in the development and production of prosthetic hands, together with the FEFU Medical Center and the Zelman Skoltech Center for Neurobiology and Neurorehabilitation, performed the first operation in Russia for invasive implantation of electrodes into a peripheral nerve to establish a reverse sensitive connection of prosthetic hands with the human nervous system.

The aim of the project is to study the technology of bionic prosthesis sensing, which allows for maximum interaction with the human body, as well as to test the possibility of relieving phantom pains. Only a few international teams have conducted such operations in the world.

Natalia Polushkina, Vice President, Executive Director of the Cluster of Biological and Medical Technologies of the Skolkovo Foundation: "The study conducted by Motorika in collaboration with neurosurgeons and scientists of Skoltech is aimed at controlling one of the most painful conditions - chronic phantom pain, and will also contribute to the return of normal tactile sensitivity, improving the functionality of prosthetics limbs. If the experiment is successful, it is possible to further scale the technology, which will significantly improve the quality of life of people after amputation, and new prospects will open up for “Motorics” in the development of invasive prostheses and other medical devices implanted in humans. The operation was made possible thanks to the well-coordinated work of the Motorika team, scientists from Skoltech, FEFU specialists, as well as the support of the Skolkovo Foundation." 

Patients arrived in Vladivostok to participate in the study. The first patient from the city of Lomonosov, who has both hands amputated, hopes that with sensitivity he will be able to feel even fragile objects. Previously, he used bioelectric prostheses that allow him to perform simple actions, open doors or take a glass. And the second patient, who arrived for the operation from Roslavl, who hopes to solve the problems caused by phantom pains with the help of the operation.

During the surgical intervention, special electrodes are installed on the nerves of patients to perform electrical stimulation. For two weeks, patients will learn to perform various tasks in a new way with the help of bionic prosthetic hands. In the postoperative period, specialists will study and work out the individual parameters of stimulation of each patient for the perception of tactile sensations: pressure, pain, heat and cold.

Ilya Cech, CEO of the company "Motorika": "This year our company is creating a new scientific and technical division that will develop invasive (implantable) technologies. We managed to gather the best specialists in the field of invasive electronics from all over Russia, as well as attract world-renowned researchers such as Mikhail Lebedev. First of all, we pay attention to the problems of prosthetic sensitivity, because it has great scientific and commercial potential. After completing the first stage of practical research, we will receive the data necessary to develop our own line of invasive electrodes and stimulators for use in prosthetics and other fields of medicine. Thus, we will be able to significantly expand the company's activities and bring Russia to a leading position in the field of invasive technologies." 

The operation will be performed by a neurosurgeon of the FEFU Medical Center, an expert of the NTI Center for Virtual and Augmented Reality neurotechnologies Artur Biktimirov: "Neuromodulation is a potential treatment option for chronic pain, which can change maladaptive neuroplasticity and strengthen the descending inhibitory pathways. The use of prostheses with a feedback device helps to reduce phantom pain. Drawing up a map of phantom sensitivity in the future will allow us to program stimulation for certain parameters."

The FEFU became a platform for conducting a study with subsequent testing and monitoring of patient adaptation. Mikhail Lebedev became the scientific director of the project. 

Mikhail Lebedev, Professor at Skoltech: "The key feature of this project is the use of an active paradigm of tactile interaction between the prosthetic arm and external objects. It is due to this paradigm that synchronization of brain activity and artificial tactile sensations caused by stimulation of peripheral nerves is ensured. Moreover, the paradigm will be supplemented by a neurointerface that triggers movements by the activity of motor cortical zones. By practicing with such a bidirectional interface, patients will be able to eliminate phantom pains." 

If the operative stage of the study is successful, specialists will focus on further studying the process of invasive management of new prostheses by patients.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version