Product - Concept - Mission
The solution we propose is called SENSY: a unique device worldwide, which allows amputees, unlike currently available prostheses, to feel again from missing limbs. It is a neuroprosthetic device, which will be implanted within the residual nerves (in amputees), or healthy part of the nerves (in the case of neuro-damaged subjects), restoring the natural-like flow of the neural sensory information. It will enable subjects to feel natural and complete sensations from the missing or non-functional limb.
Children who stepped over a mine, or people who were in a car accident, hit by drunken drivers, deserve the possibility to live a normal life. Bilateral amputees are unable to feel the touch of their children or texture of the beloved person’s skin. Amputees cannot perform basic manipulation tasks without complete attention, while more sophisticated ones are prohibitive. The prosthesis is a cumbersome foreign body causing also severe psychological problems, together with multiple problems during its control, which often result in its abandonment. People with severe nerve injuries often do not have any limb-functionality, and are even deciding to cut it, replacing it with limited commercial prosthesis.
Our mission is to restore complete functionality of upper and lower limb amputees, as well as those that had nerve-damage.
We are uniquely motivated group of dreamers, hard-workers and close friends, who have technical know-how and the first ever worldwide experience in this field. As a result of the long-standing research, we acquired the knowledge reflected in the first proof-of-concept clinical trial, a patent and a highly qualified team, with strong international reputation.
Meet the team behind the idea.
Dr. Francesco Maria Petrini
Francesco has worked at the business development during the first steps of SensArs: IPs preparation and filing, funds raising, business plan preparation. During his entrepreneurial activity he was awarded with several prizes and grants: Brain Forum start-up award (2015), Best 3 IROS start-up award (2015), Innogrant (2014), IMD award (2015), Spin-fund (2015), Venture Kick (2016), top 25 Venture (2016), Top 100 Swiss startup (2017), EU FET Launchpad (2017), EIT Health Headstart (2018), EU FTI (2019). He holds a PhD in neural engineering (University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome) and specialisation in the technology transfer and business development. During his studies, he has visited for more than two years the most important schools of Europe, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) and Imperial College of London, obtaining certificates for business and management competencies. He has been for 2 years the manager of the SCRIPT European project for San Raffaele Pisana (Rome) and he has worked within several relevant European projects (TIME, EPIONE, NEBIAS). He holds 2 patent applications.
Dr. Stanisa Raspopovic
Stanisa has over 10 years of experience in neuroprosthetic field, especially in the algorithms development, modelling, animal and clinical experimentation. He was in charge of several relevant EU projects (Cyberhand, TIME, EPIONE, NEBIAS). Stanisa graduated at University of Pisa (Italy) with honours in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering (MSc) and got the PhD at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA, Italy) in Neuroengineering and Robotics. He was scientist at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH, Switzerland) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), and visiting at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB, Spain). He holds 3 patent applications. He guided the first EU human implant for sensory restoration in 2013.
Prof. Silvestro Micera
Silvestro is currently Full Professor of Neural Engineering at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA, Italy) and Full Professor of Neural Engineering at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) where he holds the Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Translational NeuroEngineering. His research interests are in the areas of development of neuroprosthetic and robotic solutions to restore sensory-motor functions in disabled people. In particular, he is a pioneer in the development of “bionic” hand prostheses based on the use of implantable neural interfaces.
Charles Carignan has always held senior positions during his career as President and Vice-President for various medical companies. He achieved his Bachelors in American studies at Yale University and then his MD in Medicine at Columbia University. Successively, he went on to become Vice President at EngenderHealth for 5 years and then worked at Conceptus, Boston Scientific Corporation, and Novasys Medical. There he held positions as a VP, Medical Director and Chief Medical Officers for a total of 12 years. He has an extensive experience with med-tech regulations, reimbursements systems, market strategies and sales. He then founded his own company NinePoint Medical Inc. that focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing medical devices to enable in vivo pathology. He then moved on to a new project and successfully worked as CEO for BionX Medical Technologies, which manufactured prosthetic devices. BionX was later sold to Ottobock Healthcare GmbH.
- Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy
- The Clinical Centre of Serbia at Belgrade
- Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland
- Charité clinical center, Berlin
Technical and R&D Collaborations
- École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
- Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy
- Wyss Center for Bio and Neuro-Engineering, Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland
AWARDS and prizes
Check out our latest news and stories
SensArs coordinates a consortium of 4 partners coming from 4 countries to take to market its product SENSY
SensArs coordinates a consortium of 4 partners coming from 4 countries to take to market its product SENSY, unique worldwide device to restore sensory feedback to leg amputees. The project is financed by the European Commission and is called GoSafe. More information can be found here.
SensArs financed from the European Commission to explore the feasibility of stimulating the vagal nerve
SensArs, within a consortium of 6 partners coming from 5 countries, was financed from the European Commission to explore the feasibility of stimulating the vagal nerve to control the heartbeat of patients who underwent heart transplantation. The project is called NeuHearth (Grant agreement ID: 824071). More information can be found here.
SensArs among the successful stories mentioned by the EIT Health. Check the link
SensArs is one of the 4 Startups selected for the EIT Health Germany Headstart Awards 2018 – valued at €50,000 each – to accelerate their entry to market. Read here the news from EIT Health.
SensArs among the successful stories mentioned by the European Commission. Check the link
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“The venture leaders Life Science program is a one-week investors and business roadshow in Boston, co-organized with swissnex Boston. This year’s winners develop amazing technologies such as a prosthesis which allows amputees to naturally feel their missing limbs again or an ingeniously simple approach to computed guided needle navigation in the body.”
“The seventh edition of the TOP 100 Swiss startup ranking was disclosed on September 6th in front of 600 participants. The broad spectrum of innovative high-tech startups attracted dozens of investors from abroad, and even from Silivon Valley and China. Switzerland ranks as the most innovative nation according to the Global Innovation Index 2017. The TOP[…]
‘Four Swiss start-ups will receive CHF 50’000 each through the Horizon 2020 SME instrument scheme. The instrument, provided with about € 3 billion, is accessible to Swiss SMEs since January 2017. Next application deadline is 6 September.’
Sensars is featured on 101 innovative digital health, eHealth, mHealth startups in Switzerland list on Science Service (Dr. Hempel Digital Health Network) website. Check out the full list here.