The Spinal Cord Stimulation Laboratory, under the direction of Marco Capogrosso, PhD, and part of the University of Pittsburgh Rehab and Neural Engineering Labs, broadly studies the interactions between electrical stimulation and the dynamics of spinal circuits. Specifically, laboratory activities are focused on three areas of interest.
Area 1: Computational models of spinal cord stimulation.
We use computational neuroscience tools, Finite Element Methods and modern AI strategies to decipher the computational principles underlying the interaction of artificial electrical stimulation and the neural dynamics of spinal circuits. Specifically, we aim to understand how artificial inputs are transformed into coordinated movements by the spinal cord.
Area 2: Electrophysiology of spinal circuits and mechanisms of neuromodulation.
We perform electrophysiology in animal models such as rats, and monkeys to understand how the spinal cord and the brain reacts to electrical stimulation. We aim to combine results from computer models to experimental data to optimize neurostimulation technologies and design new effective therapies to motor paralysis.
Area 3: Clinical applications of spinal cord stimulation in motor disorders.
We apply the results of computational and animal studies in translational clinical trials in patients that suffer from motor disorders such as stroke, spinal cord injury and motoneuron diseases. Specifically, we aim to test new implantable technologies to improve motor and sensory functions in people with arm and hand paralysis.