Center for Neural Engineering

Introduction

Our research works focus on three areas, Neurorehabilitation Engineering, Rehabilitation Technologies and Systems, and Human-Machine Intelligent Interactions. Our mission is to understand the mechanisms of neuromuscular system activities and to develop the novel technologies and systems for the repairment, replacement, enhancement, and assistance to the people with a lost and/or dysfunction of neuromuscular systems. Currently, our interesting researches include the peripheral neuro-muscular-vascular coupling mechanism, motor-sensory nerve function reconstruction, nerve and muscle modulations, neural machine interface technology, multifunctional neuro-prosthesis and rehabilitation robotics, flexible sensing and wearable technologies and systems, noninvasive detection and rehabilitation of hearing lost, and human-machine intelligent interaction. 

Main Research Areas

1)      Synchronous and High-Resolution Acquisition System of Electrophysiological and Blood Microcirculation Signals of Neuromuscular Activities 

The regularly synergic activities among the nerves, muscles, and blood microcirculation of neuromuscular systems ensure the organic functions of human beings. Since many severe clinical diseases are directly and/or indirectly caused by the dysfunctions and/or disorders of neuromuscular systems, it is very essential and significant to accurately monitor all the physiological responses corresponding to the coupling activities of the peripheral nerves, muscles, and microcirculation for understanding the pathology of these diseases, their developments and functional recoveries. In this project, we propose to develop a high-resolution acquisition system that could synchronously record both the electrophysiological signals and blood-microcirculation responses (hemodynamics and blood oxygen) of neuromuscular activities on a neuromuscular tissue or an organ.  

  

 

2)      Bidirectional Neural Pathway for Multifunctional Prosthetic Technologies and Systems 

The multi-functional intelligent prosthesis (upper/lower limb) technology and system of bidirectional neural pathway are studied, which use flexible sensing to obtain high resolution neuromuscular electrical signal and decode the signal, so as to realize accurate recognition of motion intention. The neural feedback of prosthetic sensory information is realized by detecting, fusing and decoding sensory signals. By mimicking the biomechanical characteristics of human body, a low-cost, lightweight, structural and motion bionic prosthetic body structure is developed. The applications verification platform of artificial limbs that integrates neural electrical information, kinematics and dynamics information is established to realize the compliant control of multi-functional intelligent artificial limbs with motion-sense bidirectional neural pathways. 

  

 The multi-functional intelligent prosthesis technology and system 

  

3)      Flexible Functional Materials and Sensor Technology Applications 

The dual micro-structure piezoelectric system of space charge electret in polymer is developed, and the application of flexible sensing technology in human motion recognition, body sign signal detection, robot hand touch sensing are carried out. This research also focusing on developing a new generation of flexible and stretchable electrode materials and sensors with large tensile rate, high density, ultra-thin, ultra-narrow, high adhesion and excellent stability properties, for the great application prospect on wearable devices and the acquisition of high density surface electromyographic signals, implantable cortex electroencephalogram signals, electrocardio signal signals and in vivo nerve signals.   

Flexible functional materials and sensor technology applications

4)      A companion Robot to Assist Walking, Sitting Down and Standing Up for Older People’s Exercise Rehabilitation 

This research focusing on the key issues such as lower limb movement rehabilitation and companion care for the elderly, emphasis on the motion control, intelligent recognition and automatic companion of companion robots. By using multi-joint design, six-axis acceleration sensor, infrared sensor automatic tracking and system integrated speech recognition functions, this research aims to develop the intelligent escort robot and its system. 

5)      Robotics for Precise Orthodontics 

The 3D models of subject’s dental tissue are reconstructed from CBCT images. The digital treatment planning, treatment simulation and orthodontic appliance design are implemented in a 3D visualization system for computer-aided treatment. Additionally, the precise preparation of personalized archwire is completed using a multi-sense based bending control method. It provides a robotic system for treatment assistance and appliance preparation to clinical orthodontic treatment, and will improve the outcomes of orthodontic treatment and decrease the treatment duration and costs. 

 

Orthodontic robot 

  

6)      Wearable Pre-impact Fall Technology and System  

Falling is a common injury incident for the elderly, which is an important inflection point of disability for the elderly, and a significant cause of disability and death. It has become a major social demand to solve the problem of elderly falls in China. The project focus on the technical requirements of early warning and intervention protection about the elderly falling, break through the fast and accurate recognition method for pre-impact fall alarming, develop the wearable pre-impact fall alarming system, wearable fall protection airbag and fall prevention health management monitoring platform, etc. 

 

Wearable pre-impact fall technology and system 

  

7)      Non-invasive Screening and Rehabilitation Technology of Hearing Disorders 

The primary cause of deafness in children is hearing loss, which is also the second major problem that troubles the health of the elderly. Early detection of hearing loss is of great significance to prevent the occurrence of deaf children and to improve the quality of life of the elderly. This research is mainly focused on the non-invasive, accurate and high-resolution rapid detection of hearing loss, and the diagnosis of auditory conduction, peripheral and central abnormalities, so as to locate the causes of hearing impairment objectively and accurately, and provide experimental basis for subsequent targeted intervention, treatment and rehabilitation. 

Rapid non-invasive detection of hearing disorders

Researchers

  • XIA Zeyang

    Title:Professor
    Email:zy.xia@siat.ac.cn
    Areas of Interest:Intelligent Robotics, Operational Robotics,Human-Machine Interaction

  • CHEN Shixiong

    Title:Associate Professor
    Email:sx.chen@siat.ac.cn
    Areas of Interest:medical devices and instrumentation, pattern recognition algorithms, rehabilitation of hearing disorders

  • FANG Peng

    Title:Associate Professor
    Email:peng.fang@siat.ac.cn
    Areas of Interest:Functional Materials and Transducers;Human-Machine Interaction and Intelligent Control

  • SHANG Peng

    Title:Professor
    Email:peng.shang@siat.ac.cn
    Areas of Interest:Artificial joint, rehabilitation equipment


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