The BCI Project

The BCI (Brain Computer Interface) project aims to develop compensating systems that will help people with a severe motor control disability recover mobility.

The BCI project aims to demonstrate that it is possible to drive an exoskeleton thanks to an implant that records cortical signals, opening up the prospect of a better future for people with motor function disabilities. The project is based on the fact that when we imagine making a movement, we trigger the same electrical activity in the motor cortex of the brain as when we actually perform that activity. The project therefore aims to record these electrical signals, known as ElectroCorticoGrams, and decode them to drive complex objects, for example, to move the limbs of an exoskeleton.



photo implantTo detectthe electrical activity in the motor cortex, we needed to develop an Implantable Medical Device, the first of its kind, called WIMAGINE®. This device has been specified for minimally-invasive implantation in the cranium and, over the long term, to measure ElectroCorticoGrams thanks to an array of electrodes in contact with the dura mater. The WIMAGINE® implant has been developed within the extremely favorable technological research environment at MINATEC® for the development of innovative technological building blocks. Electronic boards contain the ElectrocorticoGram acquisition and digitization systems, designed and manufactured by the microelectronics team at CEA LETI (application-specified integrated circuit: ASIC) to record ElectroCorticoGrams, together with the remote power supply and wireless data transfer systems via secure radio link to an external base station. The implant packaging is designed to ensure long-term biocompatibility and safety. The implants have undergone rigorous testing to check their compliance with standards required by EU Directives relative to Active Implantable Medical Devices.

The ElectroCorticoGrams recorded are then decoded in real time to predict the deliberate movement imagined by the subject and then, for example, control the corresponding limb of an exoskeleton. Decoding ElectroCorticoGrams required the development of highly-sophisticated algorithms able to process massive volumes of data, in real time, and ensure a good response in driving the exoskeleton.

The subject placed inside the exoskeleton can drive it by imagining movements as if they were making the movement themself. Their brain activity is recorded by the WIMAGINE® implants placed on the right and left sides of the motor cortex, and decoded to predict the deliberate movement imagined by the subject and drive the motors that control the joints in the arms and legs of the exoskeleton.

At the end of 2015, Clinatec received the go-ahead from Grenoble University Hospital’s Directorate for Clinical Research and Innovation and the regulatory authorities – the French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM), and the Comité de Protection des Personnes (France’s ethical review board) – to launch a clinical trial at CLINATEC®. The protocol allows for the inclusion of five quadriplegic subjects over a period of five years.

Key publications

A long-Term BCI study with ECoG Recordings in Freely Moving Rats
Costecalde, T., Torres-Martinez, N., Eliseyev, A., Mestais, C., Moro C., Benabid , A.L.
Neuromodulation : Technology at the Neural Interface, 2018, 21(2):149-159 Abstract

Recursive Exponentially Weighted N-way Partial Least Squares Regression with Recursive-Validation of Hyper-Parameters in Brain-Computer Interface
Eliseyev, A., Auboiroux, V., Costecalde, T., Langar, L., Charvet, G., Mestais, C., Aksenova, T., Benabid, A. L.
Applications. Scientific reports, 2017, 7(1), 16281. Abstract

Switching Markov decoders for asynchronous trajectory reconstruction from ECoG signals in monkeys for BCI applications
Schaeffer, M. C., Aksenova, T.
Journal of Physiology-Paris, 2017, 110 (4 Pt A):348-360.  Abstract

Penalized Multi-Way Partial Least Squares for smooth trajectory decoding from electrocorticographic (ECoG) recording
Eliseyev A., Aksenova T.
PLOS ONE, 2016, 11(5), e0154878. Abstract

EMY: a dual arm exoskeleton dedicated to the evaluation of Brain Machine Interface in clinical trials
Morinière, A. Verney, N. Abroug, P. Garrec, Y. Perrot
2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS): 5333-5338

WIMAGINE: Wireless 64-Channel ECoG Recording Implant for Long Term Clinical Applications
Mestais, G. Charvet, F. Sauter-Starace, M. Foerster, D. Ratel, and AL. Benabid
IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2015 Jan;23(1):10-21. Abstract

Stable and artifact-resistant decoding of 3D hand trajectories from ECoG signals using the generalized additive model.
Eliseyev, A., and Aksenova, T.
J. Neural Eng.(2014) 11, 066005. Abstract

CLINATEC BCI platform based on the ECoG-recording implant WIMAGINE and the innovative signal-processing to control the exoskeleton EMY: preclinical results
Eliseyev, T. Aksenova, C. Mestais, A.-L. Benabid, et al.
EMBC, 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE 2014:1222-1225