Eastern European organisation leads the way: NerveRepack project will revolutionise prosthetic technology for people with disabilities

The National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnologies (IMT) in Bucharest has obtained substantial funding to pioneer the development of a new generation of implantable devices for prostheses. This endeavour, led by an esteemed Eastern European research institute, will revolutionise the lives of countless individuals with disabilities, bringing significant impact on important social, economic, medical, and technological fronts.

Funding for the cutting-edge NerveRepack project comes through the Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking, a Public-Private Partnership dedicated to research, development, and innovation in the realm of electronics components and systems. KDT JU empowers participating nations to coordinate and engage in projects of global significance, harnessing world-class expertise in key enabling technologies crucial for Europe's competitive edge in the digital economy era. This collaborative initiative, always sensitive to fostering greater participation from Eastern European countries, is materializing its effort through projects like NerveRepack. By offering an opportunity for coordination and involvement, KDT JU aims to address the issue of limited number of Eastern European coordinators and ensure a more inclusive and diverse representation in cutting edge research and development.

NerveRepack, great example of ground-breaking innovations emerging from Eastern Europe, will develop a new generation of bidirectional implantable electrodes connecting the human nervous system with external mechatronic aid devices such as exoskeletons and exoprostheses. The new exoprostheses and exoskeletons controlled by the patient’s brain via the nervous system will help people with arm amputations or leg paralyses to regain their motor and sensorial functions.

Electrodes will be the primary bidirectional interface to the nerves, followed by the implantable electronics module. All the components will be designed, fabricated, and tested through demonstrators aimed at different categories of patients: with forearm amputation or with lower limbs paralysis.

The NerveRepack project was created to answer an urgent need to help the people with severe nerve damage affecting their upper or lower limb”, said Dr. Carmen Moldovan, the project coordinator. “These people suffer amputations or paralysis and their abilities to move, to work, to take care of themselves are severely diminished or lost. NerveRepack will have a significant impact on people’s quality of life and health”, she added.

The NerveRepack consortium, led by IMT, brings together 27 high-profile partners, hailing from 10 European countries - research institutes, public and private enterprises, plus highly respected universities – all focusing on biomedical research and innovation. NerveRepack will be the second project under the KDT Joint Undertaking with a consortium led by an organisation located in Eastern Europe. The NerveRepack project will ignite a paradigm shift in the field of prosthetic implants, offering hope and a better future for people with disabilities.