Implantable FNS Systems for Standing Transfers

Principal Investigators:

Ronald J. Triolo, Ph.D., John A. Davis, M.D.

Target population: Persons with C6 to T4 level spinal cord injury

Project Abstract:

The objective of this project is to provide an implanted neuroprosthesis using functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS) to persons with low level tetraplegia or high paraplegia. The system will allow the individual to stand and transfer with minimal assistance. A standing transfer consists of moving from a seated to a standing position, pivoting the body approximately 90 degrees with the assist of a device or person and sitting down on another surface.

A system using an eight channel implanted stimulator with implanted electrodes is being developed to enable spinal cord injured persons to stand and facilitate standing transfers. Control signals are sent to the implanted stimulator by an external controller via a radio-frequency link. These signals are converted to stimuli in patterns that result in the muscle activity required for standing.

In addition to using the system for standing during a pivot transfer, exercise patterns are developed. These exercises are used to increase muscle strength and endurance, relieve pressure from sitting and improve bone and circulation integrity.

Five individuals will be recruited for this study.

Project Sponsor:

Food and Drug Administration, Office of Orphan Product Development

For more information contact:

Carol Bieri, PT

Motion Study Laboratory 151A (W)

Veterans Affairs Medical Center

10701 East Blvd.

Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1702

(216)791-3800 Ext. 4693 (216)231-8886 FAX


Rehabilitation Engineering Center, H 601

MetroHealth Medical Center

2500 MetroHealth Drive

Cleveland, OH 44109-1998

(216)778-3604 (216)778-4259 FAX