Laboratory of Neuroprosthetics

Head: Pavel E. Musienko


Research Interests:

Last decades, there has been significant progress in investigation of structure and function of neural networks in the brain and spinal cord. Modern bioengineering technologies allowed to artificially control the functions of the impaired neuronal circuits. Our recent studies (Gerasimenko et al. 2008; Courtine et al. 2009; Musienko et al. 2009, 2011, 2012) have provided specific objectives for the optimization of neuroprosthetic algorithms, testing them on  a new experimental models of neuromotor disorders, and translation to clinic. The work in Laboratory of Neuroprosthetics is devoted to these objectives.



Major lines of research:

· Study of structural and functional organization of the spinal neuronal networks responsible for sensorimotor and somatovisceral integration

· Creation of experimental models of spinal disorders (malformations, arthrogryposis, neurodegenerative diseases)

· Use of implantable electrochemical neuroprosthesis in paralysis of various etiologies

· Development of new non-invasive approaches to artificially control the functions of the impaired spinal neuronal networks




Laboratory members:

• Dr. Natalia Merkulieva, postdoc, SPBU

• Oleg Gorsky, researcher, SPBU

• Elena Vladimirova, engineer, SPBU


Students and Open (!) positions:

- postdoc (1 position)

- researcher/senior researcher (1 positions)


We are happy to welcome students to work on the Master's theses and Bachelor’s diplomas in the Laboratory of  Neuroprosthetics.

If interesting, please don't hesitate to contact us by e-mail:





Financial support:

- Russian Science foundation grant №14-15-00788

- An internal SPBU grant (№2436/1 from 09.04.2015)

- Grant of President of Russian Federation (МD-1018.2017.7)

- Russian Foundation for Basic Research Grants17-29-01034-OFI-M (2017-2019)

- Russian Foundation for Basic Research Grants 17-04-01822-А (2017-2019)



- Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Science, St Petersburg

- Department of bioengineering, St-Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation ( GUAP)

- Institute of robototechnic and technical cybernetics, St-Petersburg

- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)

- University of Zurich

- The Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology, Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm)

- The Russian Scientific Center of Radiology and Surgical Technologies, St. Petersburg

- Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University



Our peer reviewed publications:

2015 г:

Friedli L, Rosenzweig ES, Barraud Q, Schubert M, Dominici N, Awai L, Nielson JL, Musienko P, Nout-Lomas Y, Zhong H, Zdunowski S, Roy RR, Strand SC, van den Brand R, Havton LA, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC, Bézard E, Bloch J, Edgerton VR, Ferguson AR, Curt A, Tuszynski MH, Courtine G. Pronounced species divergence in corticospinal tract reorganization and functional recovery after lateralized spinal cord injury favors primates // Science Translational Medicine  2015; 7(302): 302ra134.
IF 2014/2015 = 15.843
2016 г:
Wenger N., Moraud E.M., Gandar J., Musienko P. et al. Spatiotemporal neuromodulation therapies engaging muscle synergies improve motor control after spinal cord injury //  Nature Medicine. – 2016 – 22 (2), 138-145. 
IF 2014/2015 = 30.375
Merkulyeva N., Veshchitskii  A., Makarov F., Gerasimenko Y, Musienko Р. Distribution of 28 kDa calbindin-immunopositive neurons in the cat spinal cord // Frontier in Neuroanatomy. - 2016. 28(9):166. 
IF 2014/2015 = 3.54
Merkulyeva N.S., Bugrova V.S., Bondar I.V. Cat’s visual area 18 intermodular interactions development under different visual environment. // Ross. Physiol. J. Sechenova. 2016. V. 102(10). P. 1156-1164.
Scopus, IF= 0.652
Mirzoev TM, Tyganov SA, Lomonosova YN, Musienko PE, Shenkman BS. Signaling pathways regulating protein synthesis in rat soleus muscle during early stages of hindlimb unloading. // Ross Fiziol Zh Im I M Sechenova. 2015 Nov;101(11):1299-308.
Scopus, IF 2014/2015 = 0.655
Lyakhovetskii V. A., Merkulyeva N. S., Veshchitskii A. A., Gerasimenko Y. P., and Musienko P. E. A mathematical model of hind-limb control in cats when walking backward. // Biophysics, 2016, Vol. 61, No. 5, pp. 797–804. 
Scopus, IF 2014/2015 = 0.662
Merkulyeva N.S., Veshchitskiy A.A., Shkorbatova P.Yu., Shenkman B.S., Musienko P.E., Makarov F.N. Morphometric properties of dorsal Clarke’s nuclei in rostral segments of lumbar portion of spinal cord in cat. // Morfologia. 2016. Vol. 149. No. 5., pp. 797–804.
Scopus, IF 2014/2015 = 0.578
Useful literature:
Minev I.R.*, Musienko P.* et al. Electronic dura mater for long-term multimodal neural interfaces. // Science. - 2015. - Vol. 347 no. 6218. - P.159-163. [* contributed equally]
Wenger N., Moraud E.M., Raspopovic S., Bonizzato M., Di Giovanna J., Musienko P., Morari M., Micera S., Courtine G. Closed-loop neuromodulation of spinal sensorimotor circuits controls refined locomotion after complete spinal cord injury // Science Translational Medicine. – 2014. –  6(255): 255ra133. 
Borton D., Bonizzato M., Beauparlant J., Digiovanna J., Moraud E.M., Wenger N., Musienko P., Minev I.R., Lacour S.P., Millán J.D., Micera S., Courtine G. Corticospinal neuroprostheses to restore locomotion after spinal cord injury // Neuroscience Research. – 2014 – Vol. 78. – P. 21–29. Review.
Musienko P., Heutschi J., Friedli L., den Brand R.V., Courtine G. Multi-system neurorehabilitative strategies to restore motor functions following severe spinal cord injury // Experimental neurology. – 2012. – Т. 235. – №. 1. – С. 100-109. Review.
van den Brand R., Heutschi J., Barraud Q., DiGiovanna J., Bartholdi K., Huerlimann M., Friedli L., Vollenweider I., Moraud E.M., Duis S., Dominici N., Micera S., Musienko P., Courtine G. Restoring voluntary control of locomotion after paralyzing spinal cord injury // Science. – 2012. – Т. 336. – №. 6085. – С. 1182-1185.
Dominici N., Keller U., Vallery H., Friedli L., van den Brand R., Starkey M.L., Musienko P., Riener R., Courtine G. Versatile robotic interface to evaluate, enable and train locomotion and balance after neuromotor disorders // Nature Medicine. – 2012. – Т. 18. – №. 7. – С. 1142-1147.
Courtine G, van den Brand R, Musienko P. Spinal cord injury: time to move // Lancet. 2011, 377(9781):1896-8.
Musienko P., van den Brand R., Marzendorfer O., Roy R.R., Gerasimenko Y., Edgerton V.R., Courtine G. Controlling specific locomotor behaviors through multidimensional monoaminergic modulation of spinal circuitries // The Journal of Neuroscience. – 2011. – Т. 31. – №. 25. – С. 9264-9278.
Courtine G., Gerasimenko Y., van den Brand R., Yew A., Musienko P., Zhong H., Song B., Ao Y., Ichiyama R.M., Lavrov I., Roy R.R., Sofroniew M.V., Edgerton V.R. Transformation of nonfunctional spinal circuits into functional states after the loss of brain input // Nature Neuroscience. – 2009. – Т. 12. – №. 10. – С. 1333-1342.
Musienko P., van den Brand R., Maerzendorfer O., Larmagnac A., Courtine G. Combinatory electrical and pharmacological neuroprosthetic interfaces to regain motor function after spinal cord injury // Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on. – 2009. – Т. 56. – №. 11. – С. 2707-2711. Review.