Restoring sensorimotor function through sensory stimulation and advanced prostheses

Luke Osborn, Johns Hopkins University

Feb 23, 2022

For upper limb prosthesis users, the lack of tactile feedback can make moving and grasping difficult. A major step in developing closed-loop prostheses is providing the sense of touch back to the user to improve function. We developed an electronic dermis (e-dermis) fingertip tactile sensor for producing biomimetic spiking responses to capture nuanced touch information during grasping. We investigated the use of noninvasive electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves to provide sensory feedback and improve perception to individuals with limb amputation using a neuromorphic stimulation model. Not only are we able to provide a range of tactile sensations but we are also able to improve prosthesis control as a result. Recently in a translational study, we also demonstrated the benefits of long-term, unconstrained prosthesis use outside the laboratory for improving motor function. Finally, we will discuss the role of direct brain stimulation for providing and altering tactile sensory perceptions in individuals through a brain-machine interface.

Speaker Bio

Luke Osborn is a Senior Researcher in the Neuroscience group within the Research and Exploratory Development Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He received a BS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arkansas and a PhD in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. His research area is in neuroengineering with a focus on the role of sensory feedback and perception as it pertains to prosthetic limbs, human-machine interfaces, and sensorimotor function.


Conor Walsh


Jennifer Vasquez