K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics

Recent news
Portrait of Hugh Herr, Lisa Yang, and Ed Boyden (from left to right).
Recent news

New bionics center established at MIT with $24 million gift

Interdisciplinary research center funded by philanthropist Lisa Yang aims to mitigate disability through technologies that marry human physiology with electromechanics.

About the Center

The K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics was founded at the McGovern Institute in 2021 through a $24M gift from Lisa Yang, a former investment banker committed to advocacy for individuals with visible and invisible disabilities. The center unites scientists, clinicians, and engineers across MIT to create, test, and disseminate bionic technologies that marry human physiology with electromechanics.

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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.

Digital Nervous System

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

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

Bionic Limb Reconstruction

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.

Sierra Leone Mobile Clinic

Our researchers are field testing a system that uses a mobile clinic to conduct the clinical imaging needed to design custom prosthetic hardware for patients and to perform prosthetic fittings. Investigators are bringing this mobile delivery system to Sierra Leone, where thousands of people suffered amputations during the country’s eleven-year civil war.

Our Researchers

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

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