Marc Bolliger, PhD / Michelle Starkey, PhD
The electrostimulation group (ESG) came into being from joint projects in the domain of functional electrostimulation (FES) at the Automatic Control Laboratory of the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. These projects were headed up by Prof. M. Moraro and the Paraplegic Centre at Balgrist University Hospital, directed by Prof. V. Dietz.
The group aims to develop leg prostheses and gripping hand prostheses for patients with brain or spinal cord injuries.
A neural prosthesis mainly consists of an electrostimulation appliance and self-adhesive electrodes that are stuck to the surface of the skin. A series of electrical impulses are used to electrically stimulate the nerves lying under the skin, thus provoking muscle contractions. Patients with brain or spinal cord injuries can use neural prostheses to regain a degree of mobility in their paralysed limbs and then use these for walking or gripping.