Limb amputation is a major cause of disability in our community, for which motorised prosthetic devices offer a return to function and independence. With the commercialisation and increasing availability of advanced motorised prosthetic technologies, there is a consumer need and clinical drive for intuitive user control. In this context, rapid additive fabrication/prototyping capacities and biofabrication protocols embrace a highly-personalised medicine doctrine that marries specific patient biology and anatomy to high-end prosthetic design, manufacture and functionality. Commercially-available prosthetic models utilise surface electrodes that are limited by their disconnect between mind and device. As such, alternative strategies of mind–prosthetic interfacing have been explored to purposefully drive the prosthetic limb. This review investigates mind to machine interfacing strategies, with a focus on the biological challenges of long-term harnessing of the user’s cerebral commands to drive actuation/movement in electronic prostheses. It covers the limitations of skin, peripheral nerve and brain interfacing electrodes, and in particular the challenges of minimising the foreign-body response, as well as a new strategy of grafting muscle onto residual peripheral nerves. In conjunction, this review also investigates the applicability of additive tissue engineering at the nerve-electrode boundary, which has led to pioneering work in neural regeneration and bioelectrode development for applications at the neuroprosthetic interface.
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