A lot of advancement has been made recently in the field of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) where electrodes implanted in a person’s brain can track “thoughts” and send them to a device (like a computer) to either communicate with others or to perform actions. Typically, these implants require an open brain surgery which run risks of seizures, strokes or other neural impairment. Synchron, a neural interface technology company in Palo Alto, California, is working on changing that.
Stentrode, created by Synchron, is a neural implant that is delivered to the brain via a catheter through the jugular vein, without the need for an open brain surgery. The sensors are placed immediately adjacent to the control center in the brain called motor cortex. These sensors have the ability to convert thoughts into electric signals that are sent through the vein to a device implanted under the skin of the person’s chest. This device continuously receives brain signals and transmits them to another device, like a computer. Because of this direct connection to an external device, a person can control it using just their thoughts.
Synchron just recently got approval to begin human experimentation. In the near future, five participants with paralyzed hands or mouths, who don’t have the ability to communicate will get Stentrode implanted in their brains.
Watch the video below to learn more about Stentrode.
Got a few more minutes? Don’t forget to watch this Ted Talk!