A group of researchers has recently been awarded a three-year grant totaling about $469,000; the received the grant for developing a construct known as a “brain-computer interface.” These are essentially “devices that enable direct communications between neurons and nerve fibers in the human body and electronic instruments such as computers.”
The new grant was awarded to a collaborative team of researchers from the Arizona State University (ASU) and the Children’s Neuroscience Institute (CNI), which is based at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The money comes from the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission. CNI expert Dr. David Adelson will be the principal investigator for the grant, and Adelson will also be the leader of the research team.
Expert in the field Stephen Helms Tillery, who is an assistant professor at the ASU School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering (SBHSE), will also be a member of the collaborative team. The SBHSE is one of ASU’s renowned Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The grant is to be used to refine an existing BCI system that has previously been developed for adults and children alike.
Some of the disorders which the device potentially addresses include spinal cord injuries, and brain damage caused by stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), severe cerebral palsy, and Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
“We have been working on these interfaces in the laboratory for a decade, and it’s exciting to finally see our work moving into a clinical setting through the collaboration with Phoenix Children’s Hospital,” explains Tillery.
“This is truly a pioneering technology, and we expect that this type of collaborative research in Phoenix between the CNI at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and ASU will continue to spur further potential innovations and associative technologies in the future,” Adelson concludes.