Chronic disabilities caused by disorders of the brain, spinal cord, or sensory organs deprive millions of people of independence every year. For some people, restoration of function can be achieved through electrical stimulation. NeuroTech-NL engineers and neurosurgeons are working with industry to design and manufacture the next generation of flexible, ultrathin, and dense electrode arrays that interface seamlessly with the brain and nervous system. Incorporating the latest models from Artificial Intelligence (AI) will allow breakthroughs in sensory, motor and cognitive processing models improving the performance of “closed loop” neurofeedback and brain-computer interfaces (BCI) devices already pioneered by NeuroTech-NL scientists. These applications developed in this NWO Crossover program “INTENSE” directly address disorders of vision, movement, hearing, communication, and epilepsy – with our intent to implement the first clinical trials by 2025.
In parallel we evaluate the ethical and societal implications of these technological solutions. Critical partners in our project consortium are the advisory boards including representatives from patient organizations who have input at all stages of project design and implementation.