Friday, 12 April, 2024
HomeTechnologyFirst wireless brain chip implant ‘a success’ – Elon Musk

First wireless brain chip implant ‘a success’ – Elon Musk

Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s Neuralink company has successfully implanted one of its wireless brain chips in a human for the first time, and the patient is recovering well, with initial results detected promising neuron spikes or nerve impulses, he said.

The company's goal is to connect human brains to computers, and to help tackle complex neurological conditions.

A number of rival companies have already implanted similar devices.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Neuralink was given permission to test the chip on humans in May, a critical milestone after earlier struggles to gain approval, reports BBC.

This gave the green light for the start of the six-year study, during which a robot is being used to surgically place 64 flexible threads, thinner than a human hair, on to a part of the brain that controls “movement intention”, according to Neuralink.

These threads allow its experimental implant, powered by a battery that can be charged wirelessly, to record and transmit brain signals wirelessly to an app that decodes how the person intends to move.

Musk said Neuralink’s first product would be called Telepathy, and this would enable “control of your phone or computer, and through them almost any device, just by thinking”.

“Initial users will be people who have lost the use of their limbs,” he added.

Neuralink faces a number of rivals, some of whom have a track record dating back two decades. Utah-based Blackrock Neurotech implanted its first of many brain-computer interfaces in 2004.

Precision Neuroscience, formed by a Neuralink co-founder, also aims to help people with paralysis. And its implant resembles a very thin piece of tape that sits on the surface of the brain and can be implanted via a “cranial micro-slit”, which it says is a much simpler procedure.

Existing devices have also generated results. In two separate recent US scientific studies, implants were used to monitor brain activity when a person tried to speak, which could then be decoded to help them communicate.

 

BBC article – Elon Musk announces first Neuralink wireless brain chip implant (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

FDA green-lights Musk’s brain implant for human study

 

Step forward in human studies for Neuralink brain implants

 

Implanted sensor restores sense of touch in damaged nerves

 

 

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