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Watch new IFR Video

Navigating the gap between research and helping people

For those impacted by a disease or injury to the central nervous system, the diagnosis of paraylsis marks the end of life as they knew it. The Institute for Functional Restoration or IFR, was created at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to make available interventions developed on campus that address the functions lost due to spinal cord injury or other paralytic conditions. Under the leadership of Dr. Hunter Peckham, the IFR acts as the surrogate corporate partner for the neural technologies demonstrated feasible within the Cleveland FES Center research programs. Much different than a research organization, the IFR chooses programs that have been shown to be viable solutions for patients and then navigates them through the pathway to availability outside of a research trial. As with many other small population groups, spinal cord injury products can lack the economics to warrant a traditional technology transfer model. The IFR steps in where a company has not and continues to mature and evolve these products, and distribution channels, with the mission of full commercial deployment if a for-profit solution is not found. Funded by a combination of grants, philanthrophy and reimbursement, the IFR is dedicated to reaching long term, sustainable deliver of these neuroprosthesis to those that need them.

Read the latest article concerning the IFR.

Neural Technology ... restoring function

Case Western Reserve UniversityScott Fessler is a father, husband, successful businessman and he has a cervical level 5/6 injury to his spinal cord. For the past five years, something as common as holding a fork seemed like mission impossible. That was until he found a clinical trial that implanted a neuroprosthetic device to restore hand function. After surgery and recover, Scott nows joins his wife and family, with fork in hand, at the dinner table. Learn more.

CWRU the leader in neural technology

Case Western Reserve UniversityOver the past 30 years, Case and the Cleveland FES Center have led the field of neurotechnology and have accomplished many significant milestones:
1.) Explored the fundamental science for the artificial activation of the human nervous system and established safe and effective means of delivering electrical stimulation inside the body (1970s)
2.) Developed the technology to interface with the human nervous system (1980s)
3.) Initiated the first multi-center clinical trial of neuroprostheses for spinal cord injury (1990s)
4.) Developed and clinically implemented the first implantable neuroprosthesis with integrated and implanted sensor technology (2000s)
5.) Developed the first fully-implanted networked neuroprosthesis for multiple clinical applications, including spinal cord injury (2010s). Learn more.

Making it Happen

Thank you to the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Their award of a 2 year grant is allowing patients to be implanted today with the Hand Neuroprosthesis System.

"The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation support demonstrates not only the value of the implant as a treatment for those with SCI but also the importance of the IFR model to see it pushed forward towards deployment." ~ Hunter Peckham

Case Western Reserve University

Watch the new IFR Video

Support the IFR

The IFR can only more forward with your help. Please specify Institute for Functional Restoration (IFR) on any donation. Thank you.. Learn more.