A highly invasive and potentially dangerous procedure is required in case of high fidelity brain-computer interfaces. That is because the placement of the implant is right beneath the skull of the patient. A new device that combines the ease of delivery of a vascular stent with the capabilities of a neural array has been developed at the University of Melbourne in Australia, to address this issue. Additionally, the device namely Strode is all set to be tried on humans now.
In case of sheep, the Stentrode was successfully implanted into its superficial cortical vein, which is found right next to the motor cortex. The implant made it possible for the researchers to record the electrical activity of the motor cortex and it compared very nicely to the same brainwaves gathered using traditional epidural surface array electrodes in the sheep.
Synchron, a company spun off will advance the new study on strode for this purpose. It will test the device for its safety with the help of the company’s Thought-to-Text technology and the BrainOS software. A combination of the technologies may give severely disabled people the ability to gain real independence, as BrainOS independently facilitates the controlling of all kinds of assistive devices by simply thinking of them by the patient.
The study director and CEO of Synchron, Associate Professor Thomas Oxley, MD, PhD, and Neurointerventionalist, Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, gave a published statement sharing that the initiation of this trial is a milestone for the technology industry and points towards a new form of treatment for people with paralysis. Currently there is no means for recovery for patients beyond the natural healing process he further added.
He also called the combination of Stentrode with BrainOS technology as a potential solution to enable people to regain control of their world with digital means. This technology could be life-changing for those who have lost their ability to communicate.
Nancy Lojas has a Pharmaceutical background. She is pursuing a Masters Degree from the University of Toronto and loves to write about research, discoveries & trends in the Healthcare sector.