K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics

Our Mission

The K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics pioneers transformational bionic interventions across a broad range of conditions affecting the body and mind. Based on fundamental scientific principles, the center seeks to develop neural and mechanical interfaces for human-machine communications; integrate these interfaces into novel bionic platforms; perform clinical trials to accelerate the deployment of bionic products by the private sector; and leverage novel and durable, but affordable, materials and manufacturing processes to ensure equitable access of the latest bionic technology to all impacted individuals, especially to those in developing countries.

Our Approach

The Yang Center for Bionics is deeply interdisciplinary, uniting experts from three MIT schools: Science, Engineering, and Architecture and Planning. Center researchers collaborate with clinical and surgical collaborators at Harvard Medical School to ensure that research advances are tested rapidly and reach people in need, including those in traditionally underserved communities.

Our Research

The K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics will initially focus on developing and testing three bionic technologies. A fourth priority will be the development of a mobile delivery system to ensure patients in medically underserved communities have access to personalized prosthetic limb services.

In an effort to reduce movement limitations caused by spinal cord injuries, center researchers are developing and testing a digital nervous system that employs computer-controlled muscle activations to control limb movements while simultaneously stimulating spinal cord repair.

Brain-controlled limb exoskeletons are being developed to assist weak muscles and enable natural movement for people affected by stroke or musculoskeletal disorders.

Restoring natural, brain-controlled movements as well as the sensation of touch and proprioception (awareness of position and movement) from bionic limbs is a key priority of the center.

A multi-phase effort to establish, expand and sustain orthotics and prosthetics medical service delivery in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The program seeks to execute a comprehensive strategy to transform care for persons with disabilities whilst empowering members of this same community to become critically-needed clinicians and leaders. Partnering with the Ministry of Health, local clinics and disabled communities, our goal is to improve capacity, multiply the production of prosthetic and orthotic devices, and deliver care to patients in hard-to-reach areas across Sierra Leone.

Our Researchers

Our scientists, clinicians, and engineers work together to create, test, and disseminate bionic technologies that integrate with both the body and mind.

Meet our researchers

Our News

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