Musk’s Neuralink says tiny wires of brain chip in first patient now stable – ET HealthWorld

By Leroy Leo and Sriparna Roy

London: The tiny cables of Neuralink brain chip implant Rockets launched by the first participant in a test by Elon Musk’s company have become “more or less very stable,” a company executive said Wednesday.

The company said in May that several tiny wires inside the brain of Noland Arbaugh, who is paralyzed from the shoulders down due to a 2016 diving accident, had become dislodged.

“Once the brain surgery is done, it takes some time for the tissues to come in and fix the threads in place, and once that happens, everything is stable,” said Neuralink executive Dongjin “DJ” Seo.

So far, Arizona-based Arbaugh has been the only patient to receive the implant, but Musk said he expects to have a high single-digit number of participants this year.

The company is now taking risk mitigation measures such as skull sculpture and reducing carbon dioxide The concentration in the patients’ blood has returned to normal, company executives said in a live broadcast on social media platform X.

“In future implants, our plan is to very intentionally sculpt the surface of the skull to minimize the space underneath the implant… that will put it closer to the brain and take some of the tension off the wires,” said Matthew MacDougall, Neuralink’s chief of neurosurgery.

Neuralink is testing its implant to give paralyzed patients the ability to use digital devices just by thinking about it. The device works by using tiny wires, thinner than a human hair, to Capture signals from the brain and translate them into actions such as moving a mouse cursor on a computer screen.

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Musk said during the livestream that the device does not harm the brain. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, when it initially considered the device years ago, had raised concerns security concernsBut last year, the company was finally given the green light to begin human trials.

So far, the device has allowed Arbaugh to play video games, surf the Internet and move a cursor on his laptop just by thinking, according to the company’s blog posts and videos.

Neuralink is also working on a new device that it believes will require half the Number of electrodes Executives said a new drug would be implanted in the brain that would make it more efficient and powerful. (Reporting by Leroy Leo, Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru and Rachael Levy in Washington; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

  • Published on Jul 11, 2024 at 17:38 IST

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