Synchron is rivaling billionaire Elon Musk’s Neuralink with clinical trials of a brain implant that allows the wearer to control a computer just thinking.
The implant, known as a stentrode, which needs to be implanted in the brain, is about the size of a paper clip.
And “Stentrod” has now been implanted in 6 patients in New York and Pittsburgh suffering from severe paralysis, as reported by the “Daily Mail”.
The implant allows patients to control digital devices through thought alone and gives them the ability to carry out daily activities, including texting, emailing and shopping online.
Although the implant was tested on Australian patients, the new one studio clinical is the first of its kind in the United States.
If these prove will be successful, the brain implant could be sold as a commercial product, targeting paralyzed patients, with the aim of restoring their independence and quality of life.
To gain an advantage, Synchron is quick to advance its own prove to finish them before Neuralink, reaching a clinical trial known as “Command”, under the exemption of the first experimental device “IDE” granted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
IDE allows you to use the device in one studio clinical, in order to collect data on its safety and efficacy.
“We are developing our solution for the 5 million people in the United States who suffer from paralysis,” said Tom Oxley, CEO and founder of Synchron.
The stentrode consists of a scaffold made of a flexible alloy called nitinol, which is studded with electrodes in able to record nerve signals in the brain.
The device can be implanted in a blood vessel located above the motor cortex, which is thearea responsible for movement in the brain.
Implantation requires a minimally invasive procedure, which involves creating a small “keyhole” in the neck, similar to inserting a stent into the heart.
Once in place, it expands to press the electrodes against the blood vessel wall near the brain, where it can record nerve signals.
These signals are transmitted from the brain directly to the target areas, where a unit is implanted under the skin in the chest, through a network of electrodes along a wire that connects it to the device in the chest.
The company revealed that this unit, located in the chest, is programmed to continuously acquire brain signals and, when connected to an external receiver, can send them to a computer.
Hence, the above-mentioned steps mean that the patient can control what appears on the screen of the computersuch as the on-screen cursor or keyboard.
In this regard, the company said: “The brain control center is now directly connected to the software and the patient will try to train their brain to directly control the operating system. “
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