ECE Professor Ted Clancy Receives TATRC Grant for Research in Prosthetics

ECE Associate Professor Ted Clancy and four other WPI professors, Grant McGimpsey (BEI), Kristen Billiar (BME), Stephen Lambert (BEI), and George Pins (BME) are the recipients of a research grant from the U.S. Army Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC). (Dr. McGimpsey serves as the overall project principal investigator.) The $860,000 award will be funding their research proposal entitled, “Neuroprosthetics: Development of Tissue Integration, Control and Sensory Feedback Solutions for Neural-Enabled Prosthetic Devices.”

The work proposed in their grant is the first year of an intended multiyear effort to solve some of the major challenges involved in the development of highly functional prosthetic arms and legs that are integrated with hard tissue, soft tissue and the nervous system. The proposed work is focused on three major issues: integrating the prosthetic with tissue (i.e., directly attached through the skin to bone) so as to provide a robust interface that can operate under all loading situations and is impervious to infection; providing sensory feedback to the user, such as the sensations of touch, force and limb position; and providing nervous system control. Their work is intended to integrate with other military and civilian research and development efforts on prosthetics currently underway or anticipated. This work will form the nucleus of activity in the new Center for Neuroprosthetics and BioMEMS within WPI’s Bioengineering Institute.

June 26, 2008