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

• Dr. Maria Barshutina, postdoc, SPBU

• Dr. Dana Kalinina, postdoc, SPBU

• Yuri Sisoev, researcher, 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)

- Grant of National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 NS100928-01A1 (2017-2022)

- Grant of German Research Foundation (DFG) for International Collaboration (2018- 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

- Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden)

- Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)



Our peer reviewed publications:


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
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
Influence of Cholinergic and Adrenergic Agents on the Recovery of Locomotor Functions after CNS Damage
Sysoev Yu. I., Musienko P.E., Okovityi S.V.
Experimental and Clinical pharmacology.
IF 2015/2016 = 0,451
2017.  Vol. 80, № 7.  pp. 37-48. DOI:
Detection of Neurons on Images of the Histological Slices Using Convolutional Neural Network.
Fomin I., Mikhailov V., Bakhshiev A., Merkulyeva N., Veshchitskii A., Musienko P.
Advances in Neural Computation, Machine Learning, and Cognitive Research. NEUROINFORMATICS 2017. Studies in Computational Intelligence, Springer, Cham.  
IF 2015/2016 = N/A.
2017. vol 736. pp. 85-90. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-66604-4_13
Merkulyeva N, Veshchitskii A, Gorsky O, Pavlova N, Zelenin PV, Gerasimenko Y, Deliagina TG, Musienko P.
Journal of Neuroscience
IF 2016/2017 = 5.988
2018 Apr 20. pii: 2951-17. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2951-17.2018.
Demin KA, Meshalkina DA, Kysil EV, Antonova KA, Volgin AD, Yakovlev OA, Alekseeva PA, Firuleva MM, Lakstygal AM, de Abreu MS, Barcellos LJG, Bao W, Friend AJ, Amstislavskaya TG, Rosemberg DB, Musienko PE, Song C, Kalueff AV.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
IF 2016/2017 = 4.187
2018 Mar 28. pii: S0278-5846(18)30054-X. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2018.03.024.
Capogrosso M, Gandar J, Greiner N, Moraud EM, Wenger N, Shkorbatova P, Musienko P, Minev I, Lacour S, Courtine G.
Journal of Neural Engineering
IF 2016/2017 = 3.465
2018 Apr;15(2):026024. doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/aaa87a.
Merkulyeva N, Mikhalkin A, Zykin P.
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
IF 2016/2017 = 2.939
2018 Apr 17. doi: 10.1007/s10571-018-0585-6.
Configuration of electrical spinal cord stimulation through real-time processing of gait kinematics
Capogrosso M, Wagner FB, Gandar J, Moraud EM, Wenger N, Milekovic T, Shkorbatova P, Pavlova N, Musienko P, Bezard E, Bloch J1, Courtine G
Nature Protocols
IF 2016/2017 = 12.423
2018 Sep 6. doi: 10.1038/s41596-018-0030-9. [Epub ahead of print]
Novel Wetting Model for Microtextured Polymeric Surfaces to Identify Defects in Micro-Injection Molded Parts
Barshutina, M., Rodgers, J., Coulter, J.
Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
2018 May 10; 28(8).
Synthetic skin for recording and modulating physiological activities
IR Minev, A Hirsch, P Musienko, G Courtine, SP Lacour
US Patent App. 15/542,042
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.