Worldsfeed Science Desk: Elon Musk’s brain-chip company Neuralink has received recruitment approval from the Independent Institutional Review Board for its first human trial. This means that now Neuralink will be able to recruit people for human trials. If the human trial is successful then even the blind will be able to see through the chip. Patients suffering from paralysis will be able to think and operate computers.
Elon Musk said- ‘The first patient will soon get the Neuralink device. It has the ability to restore movement of the entire body. Imagine if Stephen Hawking had this.’ Stephen Hawking was a world famous British physicist and cosmologist. He was suffering from a disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. In this disease the entire movement of the body stops.
The study will take about 6 years to complete
Neuralink said people who have quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can take part in the trial. His age should be minimum 22 years. The study will take about 6 years to complete. During this period, the participant will receive study related costs, such as travel expenses to and from the site.
Through trials, the company wants to see how the device is working on patients. The safety of N1 implant, R1 robot and N1 user app will also be checked. However, the company has not yet said when the trial will start, or how many participants will be included in it. Earlier in May, the company had received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for the trial.
Neuralink device will be implanted in the brain through surgery
In patients, the N1 implant will be surgically placed in the area of the brain that controls movement. This surgery will be done through R1 robot. All those who have N1 implant will be asked to control the computer. The N1 implant will also be accompanied by the N1 user app. After this, these people will have to give feedback about this entire system.
What is the Neuralink device?
1. Computer will operate just by thinking
Neuralink has created a coin-sized device. It has been named Link. This device enables direct control of a computer, mobile phone or any other device through brain activity (neural impulses). For example, after a chip is implanted in the brain of a person suffering from paralysis, he will be able to move the mouse cursor just by thinking.
2. Cosmetically Invisible Chip
“We are designing a fully implantable, cosmetically invisible brain-computer interface, so you can control a computer or mobile device wherever you go,” Neuralink said. Micron-scale threads will be inserted into areas of the brain that control movement. Each thread has several electrodes, which it links to the implant.
3. Robotic system design
The company said that the threads on the links are so fine and flexible that they cannot be inserted by a human hand. For this the company has designed a robotic system. This will allow the thread to be implanted firmly and efficiently.
Along with this, Neuralink app has also been designed. With brain activity you can directly control your keyboard and mouse just by thinking about it.
The device will also need to be charged. For this, a compact inductive charger has been designed which connects to the implant wirelessly to charge the battery externally.
A chip will bring revolution
The initial goal of our technology is to give people with paralysis control of computers and mobile devices, Neuralink said. We want to make them independent. We want such people to be able to show their creativity like photography through our device. This technique has the potential to treat many neurological disorders.
Will it be safe to apply it?
There is always a risk associated with general anesthesia when implanting a chip. In such a situation, risk can be reduced by reducing the process time. The company has designed a neurosurgical robot for this, so that it can implant the electrodes in a better way.
Additionally, the robot has been designed to insert a thread through a hole of 25 mm diameter in the skull. There is also a risk of bleeding when a device is inserted into the brain. The company is using micro-scale threads to reduce this.
Use of brain-computer interface
The technology through which Elon Musk has created the chip is called Brain-Computer Interface or BCIs in short. Many other companies have been working on this for years. This system uses tiny electrodes placed in the brain to “read” signals from nearby neurons. The software then decodes these signals into commands or actions, such as moving a cursor or a robotic arm.
Started Brain Control Interfaces startup 6 years ago
Musk founded the Brain Control Interfaces startup six years ago and showed off his implantation robot two years ago. Musk had informed about the progress of his device in the ‘Show and Tell’ event at Neuralink’s California headquarters six months ago.
Monkey typed through telepathy
At the event, Musk also showed a video of a monkey playing pinball without using the joystick. The monkey also did typing through telepathy. The Neuralink team also demonstrated its surgical robot. It showed how the robot carries out the entire surgery.