Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2007
Mentor: Mario I. Romero-Ortega, Ph.D.
Department: Plastic Surgery
Room number: G7 254
Mail Code: 8560
Phone number: 214-648-9159
Project title: Wireless Neural Control of Artificial Arms and Hands
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): APN 0990-06-03-1
Project Type animal-based research.
Brief Description of Project:
We have developed a Biosynthetic Nerve Implant (BNI), a bioresorbable, multiluminal device, that has shown robust nerve growth through the implant in vitro and in vivo and offers an enticing alternative for peripheral nerve gap repair. This scaffold will be used to achieve intimate contact between embedded microprobes and single peripheral nervous system (PNS) axons for recording and stimulating neural activity and delivering specific growth factors to PNS axons. By integrating specific growth factor cocktails into individual microchannels of the BNI, we can hypothetically segregate or enrich motor and sensory axons into individual BNI microchannels containing recording or stimulating microprobes, respectively. This ability for axonal segregation significantly advances the potential to activate a specific neuronal subtype and generate the desired movement or sensation on a prosthetic arm. We are currently implanting 16-electrode arrays in regenerative BNIs. The medical student will assist in these current experiments and contribute to the histological analysis and evaluation of the implants.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
Mentor two summer students while in Luis Parada's lab as a postdoc which resulted in valuable contributions in a manuscript recently published (Romero et al., J. Neuroscience, 2007)
Return to Medical Student Research Page