Kevin Otto is a professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. He directs the NeuroProstheses Research Lab, which is centered on basic and applied research using engineering approaches to treat neurological disorders. His research is focused on engineering neural interfaces for both research purposes as well as treatment options in neurological injuries or disease. In particular, Kevin's research focuses on multi-channel implantable microdevices in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. These interfaces are being investigated for many applications including: sensory replacement, cognitive functional therapy and neuromodulation for autonomic therapies.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Media Appearances (3)
The Next Hacking Frontier: Your Brain?
Hackers who commandeer your computer are bad enough. Now scientists worry that someday, they'll try to take over your brain.
Can zapping your neck help you quickly learn a foreign language?
Someday it may be possible for a soldier to stick a tiny electrode behind her ear in order to learn a foreign language more quickly. That’s the goal of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency initiative that announced this week providing more than $50 million in funding for eight teams to research how to improve people’s ability to learn new things by stimulating the peripheral nervous system, which consists of the nerves that fan out from the brain and spinal cord.
The Next Brain Implant is a Real Live Wire
Neurovisionaries dream of one day merging our brains with computers. That era seems closer than ever: Tech pioneers like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are now pursuing brain implants that aren’t purely for treatment, but could let us do things like communicate telepathically or type with our minds. Others claim we’ll soon have neuroprostheses to enhance our attention and memory, or allow us to integrate our brains with the Internet and control our smart homes with our minds.
Closed-Loop, Cervical, Epidural Stimulation Elicits Respiratory Neuroplasticity after Spinal Cord Injury in Freely Behaving RatseNeuro
Ian G. Malone, et al.
Over half of all spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are cervical, which can lead to paralysis and respiratory compromise, causing significant morbidity and mortality. Effective treatments to restore breathing after severe upper cervical injury are lacking; thus, it is imperative to develop therapies to address this. Epidural stimulation has successfully restored motor function after SCI for stepping, standing, reaching, grasping, and postural control.
Development of a magnetically aligned regenerative tissue-engineered electronic nerve interface for peripheral nerve applicationsBiomaterials
Mary Kasper, et al.
Peripheral nerve injuries can be debilitating to motor and sensory function, with severe cases often resulting in complete limb amputation. Over the past two decades, prosthetic limb technology has rapidly advanced to provide users with crude motor control of up to 20° of freedom; however, the nerve-interfacing technology required to provide high movement selectivity has not progressed at the same rate.
Acute vagus nerve stimulation enhances reversal learning in ratsNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Lindsay K-P Altidor, et al.
Cognitive flexibility is a prefrontal cortex-dependent neurocognitive process that enables behavioral adaptation in response to changes in environmental contingencies. Electrical vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) enhances several forms of learning and neuroplasticity, but its effects on cognitive flexibility have not been evaluated.