Journal of Automatic Control 2010 Volume 20, Issue 1, Pages: 27-32
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Development of a closed-loop neural prosthesis for vestibular disorders

Di Giovanna J., Gong W., Haburcakova C., Kögler V., Carpaneto J., Genovese V., Merfeld D., Demosthenous A., Guyot J.P., Hoffmann K.P., Berthoz A., Morari M., Micera S.

Vestibular disorders can cause severe problems including spatial disorientation, imbalance, nausea, visual blurring, and even cognitive deficits. The CLONS project is developing a closed-loop, sensory neural prosthesis to alleviate these symptoms [1]. In this article, we outline the different components necessary to develop this prosthetic. A short version of this work was presented in the NEUREL 2010 [1]. Conceptually, the prosthesis restores vestibular information based on inertial sensors rigidly affixed to the user. These sensors provide information about rotational velocity of the head; the prosthetic then transfers the information to the vestibular nerve via electrical stimulation. Here we present a project overview, development details, and summarize our progress in animal models and selected human volunteers.

Keywords: Neuroprostheses, sensory prosthetic, vestibular disorders, bionics