Embedded Recording Systems
When you decide to start walking, your brain sends electrical signals through your spinal cord to muscles in your legs and your feet. These signals are in a specific pattern to generate walking. So you've started walking. Now what happens if you are about to step on a rock? As you make contact with the rock, sensory nerves in your feet send a signal to your brain. Your brain processes these signals and sends signals back to the legs and feet to make you change or stop your stride. This is an example of a closed-loop system: the brain sends a stimulus to the motor nerves in your feet, sensory nerves in the feet provide information to the brain, the brain processes that information and decides what stimulus to send next.In this closed-loop system the spinal cord in the central communication channel. In a person with a spinal cord injury, this communication channel is broken. While both the brain and the nerves in the legs and feet may be able to send and receive information, these signals cannot pass through the spinal cord. The goal of the Embedded Recording Group is to design an implantable microelectronic device that can read what the brain or nerves of the legs and feet are saying and transmit them to the other - we want to restore this broken communication channel. To do this we are working on the development of microelectronic devices that can record neural signals from the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), amplify, compress and then transmit those signals to an control unit for systems developed by the Gait group.
Dr. Schlegel received the Dipl. El. Ing. ETH degree from the Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1986 and 1989, [...]