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Micro and Nano Engineered Bi-Directional Carbon Interfaces for Advanced Peripheral Nervous System Prosthetics and Hybrid Bionics (MERIDIAN)
Start date: Mar 1, 2012, End date: Feb 28, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The main goal of this proposal is to bring novel technology of biocompatible, low bio-fouling, high electrochemical performance carbon nanomaterials to in-vivo preclinical applications and at the same time to use this materials to develop a highly advanced concept of intimate intracellular contact, based on bottom - up technology of, engulfing the micro-electrode by neural cells. Such bionic interfaces resemble true intrinsic physiological properties of neural somas and form a tight, extremely low-invasive bidirectional coupling for both motor and sensory functions. Advantage of our approach is unperfected fidelity of signals and resolution of single neuron fibers to be coupled to one protruding electrode. The research targets are devices ranging from cuff or lead electrodes to novel bidirectional interfaces for both sensory and motor functions for cybernetic mind-controlled prosthetics. Instead of re-targeting to an entire muscle, our research comes thus with a technique how to couple neurons by an intracellular way to form a single microelectrode-axon stimulating device and at the same time to provide sensory input , being on the front edge of research on bionic interfaces for novel neuroprosthetics. The proposed technology takes advantage of unique properties of well established nanodiamond thin films, with their unique and the simple carbon chemistry allowing integration with antibactericidal and anti-inflammatory surfaces. MERIDIAN will demonstrate devices in in-vivo studies and in preclinical tests on humans and benchmark fabricated devices with the current state of the art bionic system on the market.
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