ICNPD-2011 conference in Sydney tackles unresolved issues in neuroprosthetics

The ICNPD-2011 conference took place on November 25-26 2011 on the campus of University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. As a co-chair of the conference, it is my great pleasure to report on its results.  The conference drew 70 participants, and included 25 speakers from 9 countries (Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, and USA). Owing to a multi-disciplinary nature of the neuroprosthetic research, the talks were given by scientists, engineers, neurosurgeons, and rehabilitation physicians and covered a wide range of topics, such as new materials, surgical approaches, uses of electrochemical and neurophysiological recordings, circuit design, and signal processing algorithms. During the poster session, 16 posters were presented, including 8 student posters evaluated by the members of Scientific Committee. The Best Student Poster award, the iPad2, was given to Dr. Spencer Chen, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of New South Wales; and the runner-up award was given to Dr. Chandan Reddy, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Iowa. Following the conference, a series of online discussions were held with the speakers to come up with a list of Grand Innovation Challenges in Neural Prosthetics:  http://neurotechzone.science/icnpd-2012/grand-challenges. These challenges are subdivided by the following clusters: Visual prosthetics, Auditory and vestibular prosthetics, Motor/BMI prosthetics, neuromodulation for pain control, Electrode-tissue interface, Insulation and encapsulation, and Packaging. This list will continue to be updated based on your feedback, so please read it thoroughly and don’t forget to leave your comments.

A subset of these challenges will be selected, based on your input, for discussion at the ICNPD-2012 that will take place later this year in Freiburg, Germany: http://neurotechzone.science/icnpd-2012