Trunk Control & Posture

WynnMulti-functional Neuroprosthetic System for Restoration of Motor Function in Spinal Cord Injury


In clinical feasibility studies in people living with spinal cord injury, our clinical research teams have demonstrated the control of bilateral hand function, bed mobility, postural control, restoration of an effective cough, and bladder control using chronically implanted neuroprostheses. Outcomes from each clinical study demonstrate that each system provides increased functional independence to the individual. Initially, only a single type of implanted system was implemented in any one individual, resulting in restoration of a single bodily function. Thus, it has been necessary for subjects to choose between available functions and select only one, despite the fact that each subject had multiple disabilities. In the past few years, we have progressed to implementing a few subjects with more than one system, such as providing both hand function and trunk stability. However, the fundamental limitation of the current approach has been technological; i.e. each implanted system is completely independent (both technically and programmatically), requiring separate technology to be developed for each function, and implanted by separate teams in separate surgical procedures. Thus, to this point, it has not been possible to address each individual’s comprehensive needs and tailor an overall approach that maximizes their functional gains.

About This Study

Objective/Specific Aims: The goal of this project is to restore these multiple functions to these individuals through a comprehensive neuroprosthetic approach that addresses the overall needs of the individual. This approach involves all aspects of the implementation, including the implanted technology, the surgical installation, and the outcomes assessment through a coordinated team approach in order to maximize the functional independence gained by the individual. With this system, we propose that individuals who have a mid-cervical spinal cord injury will regain control over multiple functions, including grasp, reach, bed mobility, seated posture, restoration of an effective cough and bladder function.

Study Information: The proposed approach depends on the availability of a foundational platform technology that is capable of meeting our broad specifications. We have now achieved this milestone under separate funding, creating a revolutionary new implantable neuroprosthetic technology that is fully capable of providing the necessary technological base for our proposed research. This system, the Networked Neuroprosthesis System (NNPS), is a modular, scalable, and configurable network of fully implanted, networked modules capable of meeting or exceeding the needs of all of these neuroprosthetic applications. The NNPS provides a foundation which enables efficient technical refinements that optimize implementation of the system for each targeted application.

To learn more about the NNP technology, follow this link


Detailed program information and criteria available at:


Principal Investigators: Kevin Kilgore, PhD
Contact: Lisa Lombardo, PT
Contact Number: (216) 791-3800 x64909
Contact Email: