Microneurography as a tool to develop decoding algorithms for peripheral neuro-controlled hand prostheses

Background:The usability of dexterous hand prostheses is still hampered by the lack of natural and effective control strategies. A decoding strategy based on the process-ing of descending efferent neural signals recorded using peripheral neural interfaces could be a solution to such limitation. Unfortunately, this choice is still restrained by the reduced knowledge of the dynamics of human efferent signals recorded from the nerves and associated to hand movements. Findings:To address this issue, in this work we acquired neural efferent activities from healthy subjects performing hand-related tasks using ultrasound-guided microneu-rography, a minimally invasive technique, which employs needles, inserted percutane-ously, to record from nerve fibers. These signals allowed us to identify neural features correlated with force and velocity of finger movements that were used to decode motor intentions. We developed computational models, which confirmed the poten-tial translatability of these results showing how these neural features hold in absence of feedback and when implantable intrafascicular recording, rather than microneurog-raphy, is performed. Conclusions:Our results are a proof of principle that microneurography could be used as a useful tool to assist the development of more effective hand prostheses.

Published in:
BioMedical Engineering OnLine, 18, 44
Apr 08 2019

 Record created 2019-05-21, last modified 2020-04-20

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