DARPA launches BG+ program to develop medically implantable adaptive devices to treat spinal cord injuries

Oct. 23, 2019
The BG+ project seeks to integrate enabling technologies for spinal cord injury stabilization, regenerative therapy, and functional restoration.

ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. military researchers will brief industry in early November on a new project to design medically implantable devices to stabilize and regenerate human spinal cord injuries.

Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., announced a proposers day on 5 to 6 Nov. 2019 on the Bribing the Gap Plus (BG+) project to develop new approaches to treating spinal cord injury.

Industry briefings will be at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston, 4610 N. Fairfax Dr., in Arlington, Va. Advanced registration is required.

The BG+ project seeks to integrate injury stabilization, regenerative therapy, and functional restoration. Participating teams will build two systems of implantable and adaptive devices -- the first to reduce injury effects during the acute and subacute phases of spinal cord injury, and the second to address patient recovery.

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The first system will consist of active devices that will perform real-time biomarker monitoring and intervention to stabilize and rebuild the neural communications pathways at the site of injury.

This capability could provide the clinician with previously unavailable diagnostic information for automated or clinician-directed interventions.

The second system will involve stimulation and recording devices that may be deployed anywhere on the nervous system or relevant end organs to bridge the gap of spinal cord injuries.

The BG+ program seeks ti mitigate the early effects of injury, lead to improved awareness and interactive therapies at the penumbral zone to preserve neural function, and restore patient movement, sensation, posture, proprioception, bladder, bowel, and respiratory functions.

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The project will develop medical trauma technologies that will adapt to the change in injury over time, inform new standards of care for the acute effects of injury, minimize secondary complications, and address the long-term dysfunctions that remain for years after injury.

At the proposers day attendees may present a brief one-slide PowerPoint summary of their interests and capabilities, and present a poster and lightning talk describing their research interests. For those who can't attend, the event will be webcast, in which remote attendees may submit questions.

Companies interested should register for the meeting or webcast no later than 29 Oct. 2019 at the registration website at https://events.sa-meetings.com/BGPlusProposersDay. Email presentations and posters no later than 1 Nov. 2019 at [email protected].

Email questions or concerns to DARPA's Al Emondi at [email protected]. More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/DARPA-SN-20-02/listing.html.

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