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Bridging the Gap (BG+): AI-enabled Solutions for Spinal Cord Injury

| Source: darpa.mil

The Bridging the Gap Plus (BG+) program aims to develop new approaches for treating spinal cord injury by integrating injury stabilization, regenerative therapy, and functional restoration. To achieve this combinatorial approach, BG+ teams will build two systems of implantable and adaptive devices. The first system will reduce injury effects during the early phases of spinal cord injury. This system will consist of active devices that conduct real-time biomarker monitoring and intervention to stabilize – and where possible, rebuild – the neural communications pathways at the site of injury. Biomarker monitoring will provide previously unavailable diagnostic information for automated or clinician-directed interventions. The second system will primarily address recovery of function in the final phase of spinal cord injury by deploying networks of stimulation and/or recording devices on the nervous system or relevant end organs to effectively “bridge the gap” of the spinal cord injury.

The BG+ program seeks to change the paradigm for spinal cord injury treatment. Successful BG+ devices will mitigate the early effects of injury, enhance clinical awareness and therapeutic options at the injury site, accelerate natural long-term recovery processes, and restore multiple nervous system functions.

Demo: Presentation of function restoration after spinal cord injury using spinal stimulation and advanced AI. This video demonstration will include pre-recorded videos showing patients with spinal cord injury using DARPA developed technologies. The demonstration will focus on sensory restoration using spinal stimulation. It will include brief description of the tech, demonstration of stimulation induced proprioceptive feedback, haptic feedback and interviews with the subject about how DARPA developed tech has impacted them.

CDR Jean-Paul Chretien

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