Treating Spinal Cord Injury using Biomedical Engineering methods
From sensor to stimulation - electronic implants engineered to restore limb and organ function
In the mid 20th century, clinicians learnt to keep those who had suffered spinal cord injury alive but their paralysed condition was seen as chronic because the cord was not capable of repairing itself. As the muscles below the injury are usually still capable of contraction when provided with electrical stimulation, engineers aimed to develop systems to restore limb and central organ function, so-called Functional Electrical Stimulation.
Prof Donaldson has been involved with this research since the late 1970s. With technological development, scientific progress and experience with patients, the purpose of these devices has evolved.
In his talk, he will describe the research in which he has been involved, emphasizing this evolution toward practicable treatments including the engineering challenges in developing implantable, biocompatible sensors and stimulators that can interface with the human nervous system, the difficulties involved with signal processing of nerve recordings, as well as the benefits to the patient.
About the speaker
UCL Professor of Neuroprosthesis Engineering
As a recent graduate in Engineering, Prof. Donaldson was fortunate to get a job working under Professor Giles Brindley who was a pioneer in the field of neurological prostheses. He joined this group soon in 1977 and was asked to develop an implant for restoring leg function to paraplegics. Brindley was the Director of an MRC research Unit (Neurological Prostheses), but this closed when he retired in 1992.
Prof Donaldson moved the engineering part of the Unit to University College London which has the Implanted Devices Group in the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. He has managed 33 funded projects, taught 22 PhD students and has over 110 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Continuing Professional Development
This event can contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours as part of the IET's CPD monitoring scheme.
21 Jan 2020
7:00pm - 9:30pm
London Local Network