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Experts @OSUWexMed and @Battelle enable a paralyzed man in Ohio move his arm using his own thoughts. bit.ly/neurobridge  
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Ali Rezai, MD


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Dr. W. Jerry Mysiw, MD


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Chad Bouton, PhD


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Man Moves Paralyzed Hand With His Own Thoughts

Chip implanted in brain reads thoughts, activates sleeve to move hand

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) June 2014 – A man in Ohio has become the first patient ever to move his paralyzed hand by using his thoughts. In a small, crowded laboratory at  The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, 23-year old Ian Burkhart looked closely at his hand, squinted with concentration and made a fist as doctors, neuroscientists and engineers from Battelle, and Ian’s family gasped.

“I never dreamed I would ever be able to do that again,” said Burkhart, who was injured in a 2010 diving accident.

The breakthrough was made possible by a cutting-edge technology called Neurobridge developed by researchers at Battelle, working with doctors at Ohio State. “We implanted a microchip sensor in Ian’s brain that will essentially read his thoughts and send signals to a wearable high-tech sleeve placed on his forearm to control his muscle movements,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Ali Rezai of Ohio State. The special software that interprets brain signals and one-of-a-kind sleeve, developed by Chad Bouton, and his team at Battelle, helps create a bypass for Ian’s spinal cord. “Once Ian thinks about moving his hand, his thoughts are processed and sent through wires connected to the sleeve and Ian’s muscles, which allows him to once again move his hand and fingers,” Bouton said.

To see the groundbreaking moment when Ian moved his hand, click on the video box to the left. To read the full press release, “click to read more” below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW DEVICE ALLOWS BRAIN TO BYPASS SPINAL CORD, MOVE PARALYZED LIMBS

COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the first time ever, a paralyzed man can move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to an innovative partnership between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle.

Ian Burkhart, a 23-year-old quadriplegic from Dublin, Ohio, is the first patient to use Neurobridge, an electronic neural bypass for spinal cord injuries that reconnects the brain directly to muscles, allowing voluntary and functional control of a paralyzed limb. Burkhart is the first of a potential five participants in a clinical study.

“It’s much like a heart bypass, but instead of bypassing blood, we’re actually bypassing electrical signals,” said Chad Bouton, research leader at Battelle. “We’re taking those signals from the brain, going around the injury, and actually going directly to the muscles.”

The Neurobridge technology combines algorithms that learn and decode the user’s brain activity and a high-definition muscle stimulation sleeve that translates neural impulses from the brain and transmits new signals to the paralyzed limb. In this case, Ian’s brain signals bypass his injured spinal cord and move his hand, hence the name Neurobridge. 

Burkhart, who was paralyzed four years ago during a diving accident, viewed the opportunity to participate in the six-month, FDA-approved clinical trial at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center as a chance to help others with spinal cord injuries.

“Initially, it piqued my interested because I like science, and it’s pretty interesting,” Burkhart said. “I’ve realized, ‘You know what? This is the way it is. You’re going to have to make the best out of it.’ You can sit and complain about it, but that’s not going to help you at all. So, you might as well work hard, do what you can and keep going on with life.” 

This technology has been a long time in the making. Working on the internally-funded project for nearly a decade to develop the algorithms, software and stimulation sleeve, Battelle scientists first recorded neural impulses from an electrode array implanted in a paralyzed person’s brain. They used that data to illustrate the device’s effect on the patient and prove the concept.

Two years ago, Bouton and his team began collaborating with Ohio State neuroscience researchers and clinicians Dr. Ali Rezai and Dr. Jerry Mysiw to design the clinical trials and the feasibility of using the Neurobridge technology in patients.

During a three-hour surgery on April 22, Rezai implanted a chip smaller than a pea onto the motor cortex of Burkhart’s brain. The tiny chip interprets brain signals and sends them to a computer, which recodes and sends them to the high-definition electrode stimulation sleeve that stimulates the proper muscles to execute his desired movements. Within a tenth of a second, Burkhart’s thoughts are translated into action. 

“The surgery required the precise implantation of the micro-chip sensor in the area of Ian’s brain that controls his arm and hand movements,” Rezai said. 

He said this technology may one day help patients affected by various brain and spinal cord injuries such as strokes and traumatic brain injury.

Battelle also developed a non-invasive neurostimulation technology in the form of a wearable sleeve that allows for precise activation of small muscle segments in the arm to enable individual finger movement, along with software that forms a ‘virtual spinal cord’ to allow for coordination of dynamic hand and wrist movements. 

The Ohio State and Battelle teams worked together to figure out the correct sequence of electrodes to stimulate to allow Burkhart to move his fingers and hand functionally. For example, Burkhart uses different brain signals and muscles to rotate his hand, make a fist or pinch his fingers together to grasp an object, Mysiw said. As part of the study, Burkhart worked for months using the electrode sleeve to stimulate his forearm to rebuild his atrophied muscles so they would be more responsive to the electric stimulation.

“I’ve been doing rehabilitation for a lot of years, and this is a tremendous stride forward in what we can offer these people,” said Mysiw, chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Ohio State. “Now we’re examining human-machine interfaces and interactions, and how that type of technology can help.” 

Burkhart is hopeful for his future.

“It’s definitely great for me to be as young as I am when I was injured because the advancements in science and technology are growing rapidly and they’re only going to continue to increase.”

 

 

 

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Documents



Press Release

 

TV Script

 

News Package



News Package With Reporter

 

News Package Nats

 

News Package With Titles

 

Extra B-Roll



Ian At Home

 

Ian Driving

 

Ian Coaching Lacrosse

 

Pre Surgery

 

Surgery

 

Testing Neurobridge Technology

 

Using Neurobridge Technology

 

All Extra B-Roll

 

Extra Sound Bites



Ali Rezai MD

 

Chad Bouton PhD

 

Jerry Mysiw MD

 

Ian Burkhart

 

Doug Burkhart

 

All Extra Bites

 

Audio



News Package Audio MP3

 

Bites Audio MP3

 

Animation



Neurobridge Technology

 

Images

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Man is first to move paralyzed hand with his own thoughts
Doctors and researchers watch intently as Ian Burkhart, 23, of Dublin, Ohio, becomes the first patient to move his paralyzed hand using groundbreaking technology called Neurobridge. A sensor chip implanted in Burkhart`s brain reads his thoughts, processes them, then sends the right commands to a simple and wearable high-tech sleeve allowing him to move his hand and fingers. The software that interprets Burkhart`s brain activity and the special sleeve were developed by researchers at Battelle, who worked side-by-side with doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to test it with Burkhart.
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In a medical first, a man uses mind control to move his paralyzed arm
Ian Burkhart, of Dublin, Ohio, became a quadriplegic in a diving accident in 2010. During a recent demonstration with his doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, researchers from Battelle slipped a high-tech sleeve onto Ian`s forearm and connected it to the system. The Neurobridge technology automatically learns thought patterns from the chip implanted in Ian`s brain and then sends the right commands to the sleeve that allow his hand to move.
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With a clenched fist, doctors and researchers make medical history
This photo captures the moment a paralyzed man moved his hand for the first time using his own thoughts. Neurobridge technology uses a specialized sleeve on the forearm to communicate with a chip implanted in a patient`s brain. The chip processes a patient`s thoughts, then bypasses the spinal cord, sending signals directly to the sleeve to produce movement. The innovative technology approach was pioneered by Battelle, a technology, research and development firm working in collaboration with doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
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A moment of relief after a historic medical breakthrough
Ian Burkhart shares a smile with Chad Bouton, research leader from Battelle. Bouton and his team at Battelle pioneered the Neurobridge technology, working closely with doctors from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, which allowed Burkhart to become the first patient ever to move his paralyzed hand with his own thoughts.
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Media witnessing medical history in the making
Cameras capture the scene as an Ohio man becomes the first patient ever to move his paralyzed hand with his own thoughts. Researchers from Battelle teamed up with doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to test the Neurobridge technology. The system uses a chip implanted in a patient`s brain and sophisticated software to interpret thought patterns and send commands to a high-tech sleeve placed on his forearm. In this demonstration Ian Burkhart, a quadriplegic since 2010, moved his hand when the chip in his brain read his mind, processed his thoughts, and sent signals to the sleeve, prompting him to move.
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Sharing a historic moment in medicine
Doctors from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and researchers from Battelle gather around Ian Burkhart, 23, of Dublin, Ohio. Burkhart became the first patient to ever move a paralyzed hand using his own thoughts, thanks to the Neurobridge technology tested for the first time by this team. Neurobridge connects a tiny chip implanted in Burkhart`s brain to a high-tech sleeve on his arm. When he thinks about moving his hand, the chip reads and processes his thoughts, then sends signals to the sleeve, allowing Burkhart to move his hand and fingers.
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The first patient to ever moved a paralyzed hand with his own thoughts
Ian Burkhart, 23, of Dublin, Ohio, has become the first patient ever to use the Neurobridge technology, allowing him to move his paralyzed hand with his own thoughts. Burkhart, a quadriplegic since 2010, worked with doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and researchers from Battelle to test the high-tech sleeve on his forearm. The sleeve is connected to a tiny chip in Ian`s brain that allows him to move his hand and fingers simply by thought.
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Implanting chip in the brain to help move paralyzed muscles
Dr. Ali Rezai, a neurosurgeon at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center implants a chip in the brain of a paralyzed patient. The tiny chip, part of the innovative Neurobridge technology invented at Battelle, recently read a patient`s thoughts, processed them, then sent signals to a specialized sleeve placed on the forearm. It marked the first time a patient moved a paralyzed arm using his own thoughts.
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The groundbreaking surgery that would lead to medical history
Chad Bouton, center, research leader from Battelle, watches as Dr. Ali Rezai, right, implants a tiny chip into the brain of a patient at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Bouton, Rezai and dozens of researchers have pioneered Neurobridge technology, which links the chip in a patient`s brain to a high-tech sleeve placed onto the the forearm. For the first time ever, the technology recently allowed a patient to move his paralyzed arm using his own thoughts.
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Moving toward human-machine interfacing in medicine
Neurosurgeon Dr. Ali Rezai implants a tiny chip into the brain of a paralyzed patient at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Innovative Neurobridge technology, invented by researchers at Battelle, connects the chip in a patient`s brain to a high-tech sleeve on the forearm. The system recently read and processed a patient`s thoughts, then sent a signal to the sleeve, allowing him to move his paralyzed arm with his thoughts.
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Neurobridge infographic
This infographic from Battelle explains Neurobridge technology, developed in conjunction with doctors from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
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The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
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The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
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Battelle
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Battelle
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