Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

EPFL Launches Center for Neuroprostheses

12.11.2008
EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) announces the creation of a large world-class center of neuroprostheses, in partnership with the Bertarelli Foundation and the Defitech Foundation.

This Lausanne-based pioneering facility, to be inaugurated in January, 2009, will include five Chairs and is situated at the crossroads between fundamental research, clinical applications and market opportunities.

Imagine a deaf child being able to talk and listen, or giving a gravely handicapped person the possibility of a new form of mobility. These are the kinds of dreams and challenges that spurred the creation of this first large-scale Center of Neuroprostheses.

The opening of the Center and the start of its pioneering work is made possible by the commitment and personal interest of several individuals active in research and in the community such as Sylvian and Daniel Borel and the Bertarelli family. The creation of the Center is an expression of EPFL's recognized reputation in the domains of neurosciences, engineering (microtechnology, signal processing, robotics) and computer science. It is also ideally placed in Western Switzerland, home to top-level university and hospital organizations, as well as several leading biomedical companies.

Neuroprostheses
What's a neuroprosthesis? It's a device made up of sensors, connections and electronic chips that are embedded in the body to repair certain neurological deficiencies. Recent progress in artificial retinas and man-machine interfaces that permit communication or action via thoughts alone gives us a glimpse of the possibilities the future might hold for improving the lives of the handicapped. The new Center will concentrate on six main themes: vision (retinal implants), hearing (cochlear implants), mobility (cortical and spinal implants), non-invasive man-machine interfaces (piloting at distance, robotics), the micro-and nano-fabrication of implants, and neuronal coding (signal processing, sensors).

The Center will be inaugurated on January 1, 2009, and will formally be part of EPFL's School of Engineering, in collaboration with the School of Life Sciences and the School of Computer and Communication Sciences. This project also opens the door to fruitful collaborations with other institutions in the Lake Geneva area, such as University of Lausanne and the Cantonal Hospital (CHUV)), University of Geneva and its hospital (HUG), and the regional biomedical industry.

The contribution of the Bertarelli Foundation
The Bertarelli Foundation encompasses all of the family’s philanthropic initiatives in domains such as life sciences, education, children and sport. The Bertarelli Foundation is comprised of five members: Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli, Dona Bertarelli Späth and Ernest Späth, and Maria-Iris Bertarelli. In the framework of EPFL's Center for Neuroprostheses, the Bertarelli Foundation will finance two Chairs; one in the domain of neuroengineering and neuroprostheses, and one in the domain of neurophysiology and coding of cochlear implants. This project reflects the family's support of science and leading-edge research for improving human health, as well as their commitment to active participation in the local community.
The contribution of the Defitech Foundation
The Defitech Foundation, created by Sylviane and Daniel Borel, has as its mission to bring information technology into the service of children, adolescents and handicapped young adults. The foundation supports a chair in the domain of non-invasive man-machine interfaces. This research corresponds to the larger sense of the foundation's mission, which is to promote research and development of new technologies to help meet the needs of those who suffer from mental or physical handicaps.
Anticipated growth
The newly created Center will experience rapid development in the coming years. The Sandoz Family Foundation, led by Pierre Landolt, and the International foundation for paraplegic research (IRP) led by Jean-Jacques Dreifuss, have already announced that they are ready to participate by financing two additional Chairs. Other potential partners have expressed strong interest in the project's scientific and industrial perspectives, which hold great promise for stimulating technology transfer and the development of new start-up companies.

Jerome Grosse | alfa
Further information:
http://www.epfl.ch
http://www.genevensis.com
http://www.bertarelli-foundation.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>