Bioelectric Medicine and Devices for the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury

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Abstract

Recovery of motor control is paramount for patients living with paralysis following spinal cord injury (SCI). While a cure or regenerative intervention remains on the horizon for the treatment of SCI, a number of neuroprosthetic devices have been employed to treat and mitigate the symptoms of paralysis associated with injuries to the spinal column and associated comorbidities. The recent success of epidural stimulation to restore voluntary motor function in the lower limbs of a small cohort of patients has breathed new life into the promise of electric-based medicine. Recently, a number of new organic and inorganic electronic devices have been developed for brain-computer interfaces to bypass the injury, for neurorehabilitation, bladder and bowel control, and the restoration of motor or sensory control. Herein, we discuss the recent advances in neuroprosthetic devices for treating SCI and highlight future design needs for closed-loop device systems.

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