Skip to main content


Neuroprosthesis for spinal cord injury patients

Research Achievements

Neuroprosthesis for spinal cord injury patients

IGERT trainee JoAnna Todd has performed interdisciplinary research between the laboratories of Profs. Hochman and DeWeerth. She has combined the areas of spinal cord physiology (Hochman) and multi-electrode fabrication and stimulation (DeWeerth) with the long-term goal of developing a neuroprosthesis for spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. The project has required interdisciplinary teamwork and significant input from both fields of knowledge. Through this collaboration, JoAnna has identified a location on the ‘tail’ end of the spinal cord for initiating and entraining locomotion, and has completed preliminary experiments using a positive feedback system utilizing stimulation to reinforce and maintain locomotor activity. The implications of these results are far reaching and may lead to new rehabilitative therapies for SCI patients.