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 Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>