Collaboration Contact us here: email@example.com
Context: Why prosthetics and biocompatibility?
In the future, a due consideration will be given to people with disabilities and access to healthcare. Amputees or people with an implant will have better access to high-performance bionic prostheses that will be connected to the amputated limb by neural pathways. Presently, some prostheses already allow amputees to recover partial autonomy and perform simple actions. However, these technologies do not allow a direct connection between the nerve and the prosthesis. Making nerves contact the implants is known to be a major challenge. In addition, a major health risk linked to prosthesis and implants is the development of infections, due to colonization by communities of microorganisms, called biofilms, which can sometimes become pathogenic. In order to overcome this, strong treatments with antibiotics, or even a surgical reintervention is required to remove the prosthesis. These represent a heavy burden for both the patient and trigger significant costs for our health care system.
Our project NeuronArch
To tackle these issues, we imagined NeuronArch, a project that aims at improving the connection between the control mechanism of the prosthesis and the nerves, using an engineered biofilm that can act as an interface which can also combat other pathogenic biofilm infections.
To do so, our interface produces substances called neurotrophins, allowing a directed and controlled growth of nerves. Moreover, it allows to pass the information towards the prosthesis thanks to enhanced conductive properties. Finally, in order to prevent the formation of pathogenic biofilms and increase the robustness of the system, our interface is able to fight against infections.
Figure 3 : This is us
1: Treatment of Infections Associated with Surgical Implants, Darouiche R. New England Journal of Medicine (2004)