Therapeutic Medical Devices
Emphasis is on engineering non-imaging devices, components, and control systems for in vivo therapeutic interventions directed toward overcoming a technological challenge that limits biomedical application. Relevant examples include but are not limited to:
- rehabilitative or curative – wearable, orthotic, or implantable devices to restore health after disease or illness
- assistive – wearable, orthotic, prosthetic, robotic, or implantable devices to replace or supplement capability lost due to chronic conditions
- preventative – wearable, orthotic, or implantable devices to avoid the onset of acute or chronic conditions, including secondary complications
The development of detector modules and sensors is supported by the NIBIB Biosensors and Physiological Detectors program, the development of point of care devices is supported by the NIBIB Point of Care Technologies program, and the development of tools for surgical interventions is supported by the NIBIB Surgical Tools program.
See funding opportunity announcements and other information about Developing Medical Devices to Treat Pain.
A trial funded in part by NIH is evaluating an investigational device called the BrainGate neural interface system. This is a type of brain-computer interface (BCI) intended to put robotics and other assistive technology under the brain's control. By imagining the movement of their own arms, two paralyzed individuals were able to use the BrainGate to make complex reach-and-grasp movements with robotic arms. Credit: The BrainGate Collaboration.
Epidural stimulation research funded by the NIH demonstrates remarkable results in humans with severe spinal cord injury. By increasing the excitability of the body's neural network, a level of function can be achieved, including the ability to stand independently. Perhaps even more remarkable, is the regaining of voluntary control of bladder, bowel, and sexual function.
Mr. Summers spoke movingly about how NIBIB sponsored research affected his life and helped him to regain vital functions such as the ability to sweat and to move his legs voluntarily, as well as bowel, bladder and sexual control.