Synchron, Elon Musk’s Neuralink rival, has begun human testing in the United States with six severely paralyzed patients to enable them to control digital gadgets using only their thoughts.
Neuralink, rival Elon Musk, has launched a human brain implant test
Synchron stated in a statement that its Stentrode device, which is the size of a paper clip, is implanted into the brain’s motor cortex through the jugular vein in a minimally invasive operation.
Synchron is a brain-computer interface firm established in the United States that competes with Musk’s Neuralink, which likewise intends to enable paralyzed individuals to use computers and phones only through their brain processes.
Once implanted, it converts brain activity into a standardised digital language, allowing patients to conduct daily tasks such as texting, emailing, internet shopping, and telemedicine access without using their hands.
The device has already been implanted and tested in four Australian patients, and the new clinical trial marks the first time it will be tested in the US.
The company’s new clinical trial will enrol six patients in New York and Pittsburgh with severe paralysis.
The trial on Australian patients demonstrated the technology to be safe, the company said.
CEO and founder of Synchron, the new trials are “a major milestone for people living with paralysis”.
Rather than drilling through the skull, the Stentrode is fed through a patient’s vein until it reaches the brain. The device, comprised of a net-like material with 16 sensors attached, expands to line the vessel wall. That device is connected to an electronic device in the chest that then relays the brain signals from the motor cortex, the part of the brain that generates signals for movement, into commands for a laptop computer.
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