The science and engineering needed to create delicate yet durable connections between the brain and an advanced prosthetic device will be the focus of Neuroprosthetics 2012, an international symposium organized by the Bioengineering Institute (BEI) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The symposium will take place on February 23, 2012, on the WPI campus in Worcester, MA.
"We are looking forward to an exciting and scientifically rich event," said David Easson, ScD, BEI director, ad interim, and director of the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center. "This symposium has developed into the leading meeting of its kind for the field, and we are pleased to continue our role, both on the research front and by serving as the organizing entity."
Neuroprosthetics 2012 will be the third international symposium organized by the BEI and its Center for Neuroprosthetics. The goal of these annual symposia is to bring together scientists, engineers, and clinicians to share their research and discuss the challenges that must be overcome to enable a new generation of artificial limbs that more closely replicate the function of natural limbs.
With principal funding from the Military Amputee Research Program of the U.S. Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), the Center for Neuroprosthetics at the BEI has built strategic partnerships with the University of Utah, the University of Central Florida, and WPI faculty to focus on solving some of the most complex problems facing next-generation prosthetics. More than 50 researchers, from clinical, scientific, and engineering disciplines, including regenerative biology, tissue engineering, surface science and nanotechnology, orthopedic surgery, and biomedical signal processing, are engaged in work related to neuroprosthetics through the BEI collaborations.
"Whether for the returning veteran who has lost a limb, or for the civilian amputee, the goal of developing advanced prostheses that can improve their quality of life is a multi-disciplinary and complex pursuit," noted Christopher Lambert, PhD, research associate professor and associate director for research, ad interim, at the BEI. "As we finalize the speaking program for Neuroprosthetics 2012, the level of engagement we are seeing from leaders in the research on neural interfaces is most heartening. It promises to be an informative and challenging event highlighting current research and current research needs in the field."