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Funding and Partnerships
Center for Adaptive Neural Systems (ANS)   >   Funding & Partnerships


The worldwide market for neurotechnology products in healthcare was estimated to be over $1 billion in 2001 and was projected to grow to over $4 billion by 2005* The growing need for medical neurotechnology is being fueled by the aging of our society and by a growing interest in the use of medical technology not only to extend life, but perhaps more importantly, to improve the quality of life.

The Center plans to capitalize on this growing market through collaborations and partnerships. The Center has strong relationships with several medical institutes including Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, where Dr. Abbas also serves as director of Clinical Rehabilitation Engineering. The Center has also established research collaborations with clinicians and scientists at the Barrows Neurological Institute, Mayo Scottsdale and Arizona School of Health Sciences and has a long-term collaboration with investigators at Case Western Reserve University. New projects also involve collaborations with clinician research at Maricopa Country Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale and University of Michigan.

The Center Directors have started two companies, both of which actively collaborate with the Center. Dr. Jung started AdveNSys in early 2004 to develop adaptive neural systems for restoring and advancing human mobility. Dr. Abbas started customKYnetics, Inc in 2000 to develop and commercialize assistive devices and exercise systems for people with neurological disabilities. Center researchers are currently collaborating with AdveNSys, under an ARMY STTR Phase II grant, to develop a neuromorphic control system for powered limb splints. Center researchers are also collaborating with customKYnetics, Inc, under an NIH SBIR grant, to develop and evaluate a system to assist with daily activities while seated. Other projects are collaborative efforts with industrial partners including Three Rivers, LLC, which is based in Mesa, Arizona.

The Center model has several features that make it well suited for venture capital investment. Biomedical devices require roughly 7 percent of the investment that drugs do - only $20 to $60 million to develop and bring the device to market versus $850 million for a new drug. FDA approval time is much shorter, averaging only one year. The Center's approach is to not only generate ideas for novel therapy, but also to develop and evaluate those ideas through extensive animal and human trials. The end result is a technology that is more mature with reduced risk and time-to-market and an increase in value of the intellectual property. A second important feature of the Center's research agenda is that it includes the development of techniques, such as functional assessment tools, which can be brought to market without regulatory approval. These efforts could have a rapid impact on the delivery and cost of healthcare in the field of rehabilitation.

*Neurtotech Reports: The Market for Neurotechnology: 2001-2005

Sun Health
Banner Good Samaritan
Mayo Clinic
Custom Kinetics

Motion Control


The Center holds grant funding in excess of $5 million. Recent grants include a $1.4 million grant from NIH’s National Center for Research Resources to purchase a sophisticated imaging system (7T/30 com bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging/Spectroscopy System) an $870,000 grant from the NIH’s National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research to develop an adaptive electrical stimulation system for locomotor retraining, a $404,000 grant from NIH’s National Institutes of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to design, fabricate and test a MEMS-based neural clamp aimed to record signals from the spinal ventral roots that may someday power “smart prosthetics,” and a $1.3 million computational neuroscience grant from NIH’s National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to investigate the interactions between the impaired nervous system and the body mechanics after spinal cord injury.

Other NIH and FDA-funded projects sponsor collaborative efforts to bring new electrical stimulation devices into clinical practice.

National Institutes of Health




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