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Open AccessReview

Strategies for neural control of prosthetic limbs: from electrode interfacing to 3D printing

1
Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne 3065, VIC, Australia
2
[email protected], St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne 3065, VIC, Australia
3
ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, Innovation Campus, University of Wollongong, Wollongong 2500, NSW, Australia
4
Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3065, VIC, Australia
5
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne 3065, VIC, Australia
6
Department of Orthopaedics, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne 3065, VIC, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(12), 1927; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12121927
Received: 21 April 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: neuroprosthetic interfacing; artificial limbs; myoelectric control; 3D printing; tissue engineering; bioprinting neuroprosthetic interfacing; artificial limbs; myoelectric control; 3D printing; tissue engineering; bioprinting
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ngan, C.G.; Kapsa, R.M.; Choong, P.F. Strategies for neural control of prosthetic limbs: from electrode interfacing to 3D printing. Materials 2019, 12, 1927.

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