For the first time, doctors are preparing to test a brain-computer interface that can be implanted onto a human brain, no open surgery required.
The Stentrode, a neural implant that can let paralyzed people communicate, can be delivered to a patient’s brain through the jugular vein — and the company the developed it, Synchron, just got approval to begin human experimentation.
By leaving the skull sealed shut, patients could receive their neural implants without running as great a risk of seizures, strokes, or permanent neural impairments, all of which can be caused by open-brain surgery.
In the coming months, five participants with paralyzed hands or mouths that prevent them from communicating will have Stentrodes implanted into their brains.
“We’ve commenced recruitment over the last several weeks,” Synchron founder and CEO Thomas Oxley told Futurism. “We’ve identified some potential patients so that’s very exciting, but there’s a several-month recruitment process once they come in.”
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