On Wednesday night at its offices in Fremont, California, Elon Musk’s Neuralink Corp. disclosed intentions to begin implanting its coin-sized computers in human patients within six months.
Neuralink has worked extensively to improve the product. It comprises a tiny gadget with electrode-laced cables, as well as a robot that removes a part of a person’s skull and inserts it into the brain. Musk claims that the company has been in good standing with the US Food and Drug Administration and that human testing will begin within the next six months.
— Ashlee Vance (@ashleevance) December 1, 2022
Neuralink, in true Elon Musk form, is already targeting other regions of the body with implants. During the ceremony, Musk also unveiled two significant goods. The business is creating spinal implant technology to restore movement in disabled patients. Additionally, it contains an eye implant that can restore or improve vision.
Neuralink isn’t the only business working on brain-computer interface technology. Synchron, a 20-person biotech business, received Food and Drug Administration approval to begin human testing in July.
Elon Musk said the following at the event:
Even though it sounds like a miracle, we are sure that it is possible to give a person whose spinal cord has been cut back full use of their body. We are sure they could see it even if they have never seen it before.
The brain-computer interface (BCI) is intended to allow people suffering from severe conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or stroke to communicate with their brain through their thoughts.
This was proven by having a monkey “telepathically type” on a screen in front of them. The Neuralink device converts neural impulses into data that computers can subsequently interpret.
Musk thinks that the device will one day become commonplace, allowing data to be transmitted between robots and humans.
Keep in mind that Musk’s Neuralink will begin human trials in six months, implying that it will not be available to the general public for another year or more.
For more detail, You can check out this video.
Dr. Yoshor responded to Mr. Musk’s assertion that the Neuralink device would grant sight to those who had never seen before, “I would not say that with confidence.” Congenitally blind patients shouldn’t use this kind of device, in my opinion.
According to Cristin Welle, an associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Colorado who helped draught the Food and Drug Administration’s guidance on brain-computer implants before leaving the organisation in 2016, safety will be the F.D.A.’s top priority when determining whether the device could be tested in humans.
According to Dr. Welle, regulators will focus on whether the gadget may cause brain damage or impose unacceptable risks on patients. Given the potential for brain fluids to eat through the insulation protecting the hundreds of hairlike electrodes on the Link device, she stated that gadget durability will also be studied.
According to documents filed with the Agriculture Department, Neuralink has tested the gadget on sheep, pigs, and primates thus far.
Several other businesses and researchers have already gotten F.D.A. authorisation to examine comparable devices on humans. In 2004, researchers tested the Utah array, a gadget the size of a baby aspirin and equipped with spikes that is surgically implanted on the brain. It is wired to a little computer that is implanted on the head and sends to a computer. The name of this brain interface system is BrainGate.
Scientists now look for patterns in neuronal electrical currents that indicate the brain’s intention to type or lift a hand.Computers or robots execute the code.
The Utah array has tested over 30 patients. In 2011, a robotic arm lifted a cinnamon latte for a paralysed person. In 2012, it typed Shakespearean letters. In 2016, it lifted mashed potatoes.
The Utah array cannot be used long-term. It rises from the skull, tethers users to a computer, and risks brain infections. Neuralink is developing completely implanted devices for these and other reasons.