The SOMA project starts

The SOMA project, led by Prof. Loredana Zollo, of the Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma (UCBM), and funded by the European Commission within the H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2020 programme (Project Description), gets into the thick of things.

A highly challenging study in the field of upper limb neuroprostheses: SOMA aims at developing novel low-invasive bidirectional interface based on ultrasound probes and algorithms enabling the decoding of muscular activity and the sensing of close-to-natural somatic sensations.

The first meeting between the 7 partners involved in the SOMA project took place on October 28th. An international network of partners collaborates to the project: Fraunhofer-Institut für Biomedizinische Technik will develop the ultrasound (US) probes, University College of London will develop the miniaturized electronics, Imperial College London will investigate the myoelectric control based on US recording of the prosthesis, Università di Napoli “Federico II” will develop an in vitro model of the muscles and of the somatosensory system for the experimental validation of the US interfaces, Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona will perform tests of biocompatibility and functionality on animal models, and Össur, a world leader company in the development of prostheses, will contribute to the development of the new SOMA prosthesis.

The team of partners is coordinated by UCBM, who will also develop the instrumented hand prosthesis, the algorithms for encoding somatic sensations and the techniques for stimulating the PNS through ultrasound probes. The UAB team, led by Prof. Xavier Navarro, will lead the validation of the new interface system in vivo.




A graphene EcoG Microtransistorsfabricated by ICN2 and CNM groups of the graphcat consortium similar to the ones that will be used in the Neurograph project, . Image credit: Nature Materials,


The Direcció General de Recerca de la Generalitat de Catalunya resolved, on December 19th 2019, to provide co-funding from the FEDER funds to the emerging technologies consortium GRAPHCAT.

Within GRAPHCAT, the Group NPiR in cooperation with the Group of Vascular Pharmacology of the UAB, takes part in the subproject NEUROGRAPH: Monitoring Cortical Depolarization in Neurointensive Care using Graphene EcoG Microtransistors.

The UAB team will explore models of brain lesion by ischemia and attempt to validate the application of CSD detection for predicting spreading of brain damage. In addition, novel therapeutic agents will be investigated in order to construct a close-loop system of detection-treatment to reduce the extension of the ischemic brain area.

The UAB Neurograph team is leaded by Drs. Jaume del Valle, Francesc Jiménez and Xavier Navarro.

Project funded to develop a new treatment to stop ALS

The project lead by Rubén López-Vales, from the Group NPiR, entitled "A new treatment to stop the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)", will investigate the contribution of a new family of lipids to modulate neuroinflammation in mice with ALS, looking for a new therapy that will be more effective than the current ones. The objective is to stop the progression of ALS and find new biomarkers that predict their evolution.

The project has been selected, after a rigorous selection process with the participation of more than 250 experts, and will receive a maximum of 500,000 euros, which will be provided by the "La Caixa" Foundation and the Luzón Foundation.

Group of Neuroplasticity and Regeneration

The research activities of the Group focus on the study of physiopathological mechanisms of neural lesions, neuropathic pain and neurodegeneration, and on the application of novel therapeutic strategies for regenerating traumatic and degenerative lesions of the nervous system.

The members of the group have combined expertise in microsurgery, neurophysiology, rehabilitation, morphology, cell culture, cellular and molecular neurobiology, bioelectronics and immunology.

The group has established cooperative research in clinical neurosciences, particularly on new nerve repair therapies with the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, in modulation of neural plasticity after brain and spinal cord lesions with the Institute Guttmann of Neurorehabilitation, and in motoneuron diseases and neuropathies with the Hospital of Bellvitge.

Which are the research lines of the group?

What can the group offer?