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 One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>