39 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Delgado-Martínez, Badia, Pascual-Font, Rodríguez-Baeza and Navarro. One of the most sought-after applications of neuroengineering is the communication between the arm and an artificial prosthetic device for the replacement of an amputated hand or the treatment of peripheral nerve injuries. For that, an electrode is placed around or inside the median nerve to serve as interface for recording and stimulation of nerve signals coming from the fascicles that innervate the muscles responsible for hand movements. Due to the lack of a standard procedure, the electrode implantation by the surgeon is strongly based on intuition, which may result in poor performance of the neuroprosthesis because of the suboptimal location of the neural interface. To provide morphological data that can aid the neuroprosthetic surgeon with this procedure, we investigated the fascicular topography of the human median nerve along the forearm and upper arm. We first performed a description of the fascicular content and branching patterns along the length of the arm. Next we built a 3D reconstruction of the median nerve so we could analyze the fascicle morphological features in relation to the arm level. Finally, we characterized the motor content of the median nerve fascicles in the upper arm. Collectively, these results indicate that fascicular organization occurs in a short segment distal to the epicondyles and remains unaltered until the muscular branches leave the main trunk. Based on our results, overall recommendations based on electrode type and implant location can be drawn to help and aid the neuroprosthetic procedure. Invasive interfaces would be more convenient for the upper arm and the most proximal third of the forearm. Epineural electrodes seem to be most suitable for the forearm segment after fascicles have been divided from the main trunk.
Original languageEnglish
Article number286
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • 3D reconstruction
  • Forearm
  • Human neuroscience
  • Median nerve
  • Nerve surgery
  • Neural interface
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neuroprosthesis


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