Clinical Basis for Creating an Osseointegrated Neural Interface

Alison M. Karczewski, Weifeng Zeng, Lindsay M. Stratchko, Kent N. Bachus, Samuel O. Poore, Aaron M. Dingle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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As technology continues to improve within the neuroprosthetic landscape, there has been a paradigm shift in the approach to amputation and surgical implementation of haptic neural prosthesis for limb restoration. The Osseointegrated Neural Interface (ONI) is a proposed solution involving the transposition of terminal nerves into the medullary canal of long bones. This design combines concepts of neuroma formation and prevention with osseointegration to provide a stable environment for conduction of neural signals for sophisticated prosthetic control. While this concept has previously been explored in animal models, it has yet to be explored in humans. This anatomic study used three upper limb and three lower limb cadavers to assess the clinical feasibility of creating an ONI in humans. Anatomical measurement of the major peripheral nerves- circumference, length, and depth- were performed as they are critical for electrode design and rerouting of the nerves into the long bones. CT imaging was used for morphologic bone evaluation and virtual implantation of two osseointegrated implants were performed to assess the amount of residual medullary space available for housing the neural interfacing hardware. Use of a small stem osseointegrated implant was found to reduce bone removal and provide more intramedullary space than a traditional implant; however, the higher the amputation site, the less medullary space was available regardless of implant type. Thus the stability of the endoprosthesis must be maximized while still maintaining enough residual space for the interface components. The results from this study provide an anatomic basis required for establishing a clinically applicable ONI in humans. They may serve as a guide for surgical implementation of an osseointegrated endoprosthesis with intramedullary electrodes for prosthetic control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number828593
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 12 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience

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