Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems Lab

TIME - Transverse, Intrafascicular Multichannel Electrode system for induction of sensation and treatment of phantom limb pain in amputees


The TIME Project (Transverse, Intrafascicular Multichannel Electrode system for induction of sensation and treatment of phantom limb pain in amputees) is a research project funded by the European Commission in the Seventh Framework Programme (EU STREP CP-FP-INFSO, n. 224012 ).

The amputation of a limb traumatically alters the body image, but often leaves sensations that refer to the missing body part, the phantom limb. In 50-80% of cases, these sensations are painful and currently there are no effective treatment modalities.

Given sufficient control over a large number of nerve fibers, a neural interface may be able to artificially evoke sensations of touch, or counteract the phantom limb pain.

The ultimate aim of the TIME project is to develop a Human Machine Interface to manipulate phanthom limb sensations in volunteer amputee subjects by the application of multi-channel microstimulation.

A novel microfabricated neural interface, the Thin-film Intrafascicular Multichannel Electrode array, and an implantable multichannel stimulator system will form the key core technological developments in the project.

The project is divided in three phases:

- Phase 1: Technological development

- Phase 2: In vivo characterization and system integration

- Phase 3: Clinical tests


Project Coordinator: Aalborg University

Partners: Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, University of Freiburg, Laboratoire d'Informatique, de Robotique et de MicroElectronique de Montpellier, MXM Neuromedics, Universita’ Campus Bio-Medico di Roma (Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems Lab, Neurology Department), Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis.

UCBM is the responsible partner of Phase 3 - Clinical tests.

We also contribute to Phase 1 and Phase 2; in particular the efforts of the group are devoted to ex-vivo measurements of friction coefficient for optimization of mechanical properties of the electrodes, coating techniques for reducing inflammatory tissue reaction and psychophysical test platform development.


Working Team:

- Eugenio Guglielmelli

- Dino Accoto

- Antonella Benvenuto

- Francesco Petrini

- Giovanni Di Pino

- Luca Rossini


For further details:

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