At the interface: Convergence of neural regeneration and neural prostheses for restoration of function

Warren M. Grill, John W. McDonald, P. Hunter Peckham, William Heetderks, Jeffery Kocsis, Michael Weinrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rapid pace of recent advances in development and application of electrical stimulation of the nervous system and in neural regeneration has created opportunities to combine these two approaches to restoration of function. This paper relates the discussion on this topic from a workshop at the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society. The goals of this workshop were to discuss the current state of interaction between the fields of neural regeneration and neural prostheses and to identify potential areas of future research that would have the greatest impact on achieving the common goal of restoring function after neurological damage. Identified areas include enhancement of axonal regeneration with applied electric fields, development of hybrid neural interfaces combining synthetic silicon and biologically derived elements, and investigation of the role of patterned neural activity in regulating various neuronal processes and neurorehabilitation. Increased communication and cooperation between the two communities and recognition by each field that the other has something to contribute to their efforts are needed to take advantage of these opportunities. In addition, creative grants combining the two approaches and more flexible funding mechanisms to support the convergence of their perspectives are necessary to achieve common objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity-dependent plasticity
  • FES
  • Neural prostheses
  • Regeneration
  • Rehabilitation
  • SCI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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