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How Neurotechnology Enables Patients To Walk Again

When we consider the capabilities of neuroprosthetics today and compare them to prostheses used only 50 years ago, we can only marvel at the level of advancements in surgery and engineering. New cutting-edge technologies that work to control the brain’s function have revolutionised the field and brought hope to millions of people who have lost limbs, suffered neurological damage or are afflicted by chronic conditions affecting the nervous system. Grégoire Courtine is Full Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), where he is the director of a laboratory within the Center for Neuroprosthetics and the Brain Mind Institute. Together with his collaborator Jocelyne Bloch, the Head of the Functional Neurosurgery Unit at the Lausanne University Hospital, Grégoire applies innovative technologies and interventions to restore motor functions in patients that suffer from central nervous system disorders like paraplegia. At Falling Walls, Grégoire and Jocelyne will present their groundbreaking progress in designing the precise electrical stimulation of the spinal cord via a wireless implant which mimics how the brain would operate in a healthy person and thus enables people with spinal cord damage to walk again.

Grégoire Courtine and Jocelyne Bloch

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and Lausanne University Hospital

Grégoire Courtine is Associate Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), where he is director of a laboratory within the Center for Neuroprosthetics and the Brain Mind Institute. Grégoire and his team create innovative technologies and interventions to restore motor functions after central nervous system disorders like paraplegia. Grégoire and Jocelyn recently combined forces to achieve groundbreaking progress in their field: a surgically implanted wireless device which emits a very precise electrical stimulation to the spinal cord, mimicking how the brain would operate in a healthy person and thus enabling people with spinal cord damages to get on their feet again.

Jocelyne Bloch is a neurosurgeon in charge of the functional neurosurgery unit at the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). Grégoire and Jocelyne recently combined forces to achieve groundbreaking progress in their field: a surgically implanted wireless device which emits a very precise electrical stimulation to the spinal cord, mimicking how the brain would operate in a healthy person and thus enabling people with spinal cord damages to get on their feet again.

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