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Cyberdyne, a Japanese MedTech company sets up an office at CIC Rotterdam, enjoying the vibrant innovative community at this international incubator. From this location, Cyberdyne will serve the European market. Its photoacoustic imaging technology will also be served to the US market from this location. Cyberdyne is best known for its unique exoskeletons which are controlled by “bio-electrical signals”, called Hybrid assistive limb (HAL). These can potentially improve the mobility capabilities of patients with spinal cord injury, stroke, and neuro muscular diseases. Cyberdyne was assisted by InnovationQuarter, Rotterdam Partners and Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency in its relocation process.

Picture credits: Prof. Sankai, University of Tsukuba / CYBERDYNE, INC

Improving and potentially recovering patient mobility

The Cyberdyne HAL systems work best when used for the purpose of medical treatment, such as for improving ambulatory function after spinal cord injury or stroke. In many diseases that have caused motor dysfunction, bio-electrical signals can still be detected, enabling the HAL to help the wearer complete the movement they intend to make. In response, the body’s sensory system can send back information about the movement back to the brain. Therapy with HAL has demonstrated to improve the function of impaired limbs even after wearing the device and is starting to be adopted by hospitals around the world, in some instances covered by health insurance.

There are also multiple HAL variants designed for different purposes such as a HAL designed to protect workers from back injuries, or a HAL designed for the elderly to maintain their body functions.

Improved diagnosis through photoacoustic imaging

In addition to its HAL systems, Cyberdyne develops medical diagnostic devices and has recently been focusing on the development and clinical translation of its proprietary LED-based photoacoustic imaging technology. Photoacoustic imaging is a novel medical imaging modality which is heading towards clinical translation. Cyberdyne’s LED-based multispectral photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging system (Acoustic X) offers strong potential in diagnosis and monitoring of e.g. peripheral vascular diseases, skin cancer, rheumatoid arthritis with unprecedented structural, functional and biochemical imaging capability.

The company, which also has subsidiaries in Germany and the United States,  collaborates with renowned research labs around the globe (University of Twente, University College London, Kings College London, Michigan University, Harvard Medical School etc.) to identify and explore clinical and pre-clinical applications of this novel medical imaging modality.

Dr. Mithun Kuniyil Ajith Singh, head of Cyberdyne Rotterdam: “As a company with unique products like HAL and Acoustic X, we look forward to tackling and solve social issues using technological innovations and grow in parallel. Since the Netherlands is a country with an excellent LSH community, we believe that we fit into this cluster perfectly.”

Chris van Voorden, head of Foreign Investments at InnovationQuarter: “We welcome Cyberdyne to Rotterdam. With its unique expertise in the fields of robotic exoskeletons and new imaging technologies, Cyberdyne will both benefit from and strengthen the local MedTech cluster. Rotterdam’s vibrant entrepreneurial community is an ideal place to successfully grow the business and serve the European and US market”