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A group of Cleveland investigators has developed and successfully tested an electronic system enabling patients to use nerve impulses in intact muscle tissue to bypass motor neurons and manipulate denervated muscles.
In developing the system, Lojze Vodovnik, James B. Reswick, and Leonard Case at Case Institute of Technology, Charles Long II, MD, Highland View Hospital, and David Starbuck, Western Reserve University, first considered using a direct connection with the cortex but abandoned this idea because of technical difficulties.
Myo-electrical connection with an external bypass channel offered a possibility, and initial efforts by the Cleveland group have concentrated on developing an external bypass channel between one auxiliary muscle supplying the impulses and one receiving muscle.
The left trapezius muscle of a C5 quadraplegic was chosen as the auxiliary muscle, the 17th annual Biomedical Engineering Conference was told, and the denervated extensor muscle of the right hand was operated by electro-stimulation to
Electronic Stimulation Moves Denervated Muscle. JAMA. 1964;190(11):36. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070240076041