UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science



Our work in implants and BioSignal processing includes implantable devices to restore breathing and swallowing and to control prosthetic limbs.


Soft robotics for restoration of voice, breathing and swallowing. Our role is to produce an implant to record muscle responses to control an artificial larynx (for laryngectomy patients). This project is funded by the Wellcome Trust (FEC value: £2,310,309).

Project team

  • Prof. Martin Birchall | UCL Ear Institute (PI) 
  • Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe | Aspire CREATe
  • Dr Henry Lancashire | Aspire CREATe
  • Dr Kylie de Jager | Aspire CREATe
  • Johnny McNulty | Aspire CREATe
  • Prof. Wenhui Song | Surgical Biotechnology 
  • Mr. James Graveston | UCL Ear Institute
  • Prof. Jonathan Rossiter | University of Bristol


Our role is to produce an implantable device capable of recording the activity of up to six muscles and sending the signals to an external device (e.g., controlling a prosthetic limb). This project is funded by the charity Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust (RAFT).

Project team

  • Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe (PI)
  • Dr Michael Mentink 
  • Dr Steve Taylor
  • Dr Kylie de Jager

More Aspire CREATE research

Our experts

Roundel icon of a silhouette in grey

Dr Steve Taylor

Henry Lancashire

Dr Henry Lancashire

Wenhui Song profile

Prof. Wenhui Song

Martin Birchall

Prof. Martin Birchall

Anne Vanhoestenberghe

Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe (2014-2022)


Funding / Partnerships

Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust (RAFT) logo

Wellcome Trust logo

Select publications

  1. Jiang, D., Liu, F., Lancashire, H.T., Vanhoestenberghe, A., et al. (2021). A Versatile Hermetically Sealed Microelectronic Implant for Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Applications. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 15, 681021.
  2. McNulty, J., de Jager, K., Lancashire, H.T., Graveston, J., Birchall, M. & Vanhoestenberghe, A. (2021). Prediction of larynx function using multichannel surface EMG classification. IEEE Trans Med Robot Bionics. Nov, 3(4),1032-1039.
  3. Lancashire, H.T., Habibollahi, M., Jiang, D. & Demosthenous, A. (2021). Evaluation of Commercial Connectors for Active Neural Implants. 2021 10th International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER), 973-976.
  4. Lancashire, H., de Jager, K., Graveston, J., Birchall, M., Vanhoestenberghe, A., Rossiter, J., et al. (2021). An Assistive Coughing Device for Post-Laryngectomy Patients. IEEE Trans Med Robot Bionics, Jul 28,3(3), 838-846.
  5. McNulty, J., de Jager, K., Lancashire, H., Graveston, J., & Vanhoestenberghe, A. (2020). Surface EMG of Larynx Functions [Dataset]. IEEE DataPort.
  1. de Jager, K., Mentink, M., Lancashire, H., Al-Ajam, Y., Taylor, S. & Vanhoestenberghe, A. (2019). Characterisation of a multi-channel multiplexed EMG recording system: towards realising variable electrode configurations. Presented at: BIOCAS19.
  2. de Jager, K., Lancashire, H., Graveston, J., Vanhoestenberghe, A., & Rossiter, J., et al. (2019). CoughAid - an Assistive Device for Cough Insufficiency. Presented at: BioMedEng19.
  3. Rojas, M. A., Donaldson, N., Lancashire, H. & Phillips, J. (2019). Design and Development of an Implanted Biohybrid Device for Muscle Stimulation Following Lower Motor Neuron Injury. Presented at: ISPNR.
  4. Lancashire, H., de Jager, K., Graveston, J. & Vanhoestenberghe, A. (2019). ECG reduction in thoracic EMG during coughing with the Teager-Kaiser Operator. Presented at: BioMedEng19.

Related courses

About Aspire CREATE

We work to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries. The Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology (Aspire CREATE) is a joint research venture between UCL, the Aspire Charity, and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.


How to reach us

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
Brockley Hill

How to get there

  • Our office: Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science. (Building 6, ref. 8D.)
  • Our main lab: Peripheral Nerve Injury unit. (Building 37, ref. 5E.)

Building map


It can be tricky to find your way around the site. We have created a photo guide to help you find our office.

Download guide