09:01pm Tuesday 15 October 2019

Picosolve contributed to bringing a novel treatment for phantom pain to patients in need

Pictured left to right: Mathias Westlund, Max Jair Ortiz Catalan, Henrik Sunnerud and Peter Andrekson.

Pictured left to right: Mathias Westlund, Max Jair Ortiz Catalan, Henrik Sunnerud and Peter Andrekson.

He was a PhD student at the Department of Signals and Systems – S2 – at Chalmers. In autumn 2013 he was awarded the Picosolve Verification Funds, an award worth SEK 200 000.

Max Ortiz Catalan.

Max Ortiz Catalan.

Earlier this year Max Ortiz Catalan wrote a final report:
“The funds provided by PicoSolve were instrumental for the first and on-going clinical trial of this technology, further referred as Neuromotus”, he writes in the report.

Milestones achieved
Several milestones were achieved in the project thanks to the scholarship:
* Ethical approval for the clinical trial was obtained by Gothenburg’s Ethical Vetting (etikprövningsnämnderna).
* The clinical trial was registered and approved by the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket).
* Neuromotus hardware ready for clinical use.
* Neuromotus software ready for clinical use.
* Installation and training of four clinics (Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Bräcke Diakoni Rehabcenter Sfären, Örebro University Hospital and University Rehabilitation Institute, in Ljubljana, Slovenia) on the use of Neuromotus for the treatment of phantom limb pain (PLP).

High-tech spin off company
Picosolve was a high-tech spin off activity launched in 2004 primarily from research conducted at the Photonics Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2 – at Chalmers. The company was founded by MC2 researchers Peter Andrekson, Mathias Westlund and Henrik Sunnerud.

During the early years this activity was maintained as a project at Chalmers Industriteknik (CIT) and was eventually in 2009 acquired by EXFO Inc, a Canada-based leading supplier of optical test and measurement equipment.

Text: Michael Nystås
Photo of Max Ortiz Catalan: Oscar Mattsson
Group photo: Christina Hagelin

Read more about the Picosolve Verification Funds

Max Ortiz Catalan was a PhD student at Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska University Hospital. He is now a research scientist at the Biomedical Signals and Systems research group within the Department of Signals and Systems – S2. The new treatment method has been developed as a side project to his primary research area on neural control of limb prostheses.

Professor Bo Håkansson at Chalmers University of Technology, and Associate Professor Rickard Brånemark at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the University of Gothenburg, are his PhD supervisors. Two Master of Science thesis projects, by Nichlas Sander and Morten Kristoffersen, have contributed to the augmented and virtual reality environments. The research is funded by Jimmy Dahlstens Fond, Conacyt, Vinnova, Picosolve, IKV, and Integrum.

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