Biomimetic system (neural prosthesis) research has progressed rapidly in the recent years fueled by the unique interdisciplinary efforts fusing engineering, medicine, and biology. Biomimetic systems will offer viable solution and thus hope to those suffering with neural disorder diseases, which currently do not have curable solutions but potentially affect very large population of people worldwide. This talk will present the works of neural implants in Biomimetic Research Lab (BRL) at UCLA, including 1) to regain the eyesight for the blind; 2) to restore the motor function for the spinal cord injury; 3) to recover the cognition. I’ll particularly discuss about the creation, technical challenge/barrier, clinical trials, and regulatory approval of the retinal prosthesis. The success of the retinal prosthesis suggests that the technology could be applied to other physiological problems.
Wentai Liu, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor at the Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, and CNSI, also directing the Chan Soon-Shiong Bionic Engineering Research Center at UCLA. His research is in neuroengineering, bioelectronics, brain-machine interface, personalized learning. Since 1988 he has led the retinal prosthesis research to a commercial implant (Argus-II), receiving both CE/Mark in 2011 and USA/FDA market approval in 2013 (http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=126756). Recently he has been focusing on the recovery of motor function for SCI and motility of GI. He has demonstrated the ability of conducting interdisciplinary research from the conceiving of unmet medical devices to clinical trials and then obtaining the US FDA approval as a commercial device. He has received numerous recognitions and awards as a world leader in neural prosthesis.