The American company Synchron has been the first to succeed in implanting a brain implant (BCI, brain computer interfaces) in the human brain in the United States. Doctors at the prominent Sinai West Hospital in New York City performed the surgery on a patient with severe paralysis.
Operation went well
They place the brain implant Stentrode in a blood vessel in the part of the cerebral cortex that controls your body, the so-called motor cortex. The operation was performed through a blood vessel, so no open brain surgery was required. The operation went very well and the patient was able to go home 48 hours later.
According to Synchron you can de stentrode best compare with a tattoo that settles into the wall of the blood vessel. The Stentrode listens, as it were, to the electrical signals of the motor cortex. It passes it on to a computer. With this, for example, mouse movements can be made and the wheelchair can also be controlled.
Making the paralyzed walk again with a brain implant
With this, we could achieve for the first time what we as humanity have only dreamed of until now, namely allowing people with severe paralysis to walk again.
And this is just the beginning. The ultimate dream, of course, is to make it possible for the paralyzed to walk and perhaps gain superhuman abilities. For example, you could theoretically control wings with your brain implant and fly that way. Of course, this is still distant future music.
Brain implant earlier in Australia
A clinical trial with this implant was already conducted in Australia in 2019. With this, the company beat Elon Musk’s competitor Neuralink with its brain implant. According to insiders, Musk is now in negotiations with Synchron for a further collaboration.
Musk’s neural link too fast
Musk is reportedly not very happy with the slow progress at Neuralink. This is despite the fact that Neuralink has five times as many employees as Synchron’s 60. Interesting detail: an ex-director of Neuralink, Max Hodak, who had been drafted a year earlier, is now an investor in Synchron. Of course, that makes it all extra painful for Musk.
It is of course good news that thanks to this brain implant, paralyzed people now have the prospect of an existence, like healthy people.