A brain implant thinner than a human hair developed by a Neuralink alumnus
Moving from scientific theory to medical practice. Precision Neuroscience aims to revolutionize the brain implant industry. A team of scientists and engineers are working to design a direct neural interface, or BCI. A small device capable of interpreting the electrical activity of the brain to control any computer.
Minimally invasive technology
The device developed by Precision Neuroscience is called “Layer 7 Cortical Interface” for “Layer 7 cortical interface.” A direct reference to the six cell layers of the human cerebral cortex and of which the implant would be the seventh, explains CNBC who relays the project. By analyzing only signals from neurons, the implant would be able to interpret the data to control a remote electronic interface. A technology that could help patients with serious degenerative pathologies, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Charcot’s disease.
The device designed by the firm resembles an array of electrodes on the surface of a strip of tape, the whole being as thin as a human hair. Minimal clutter to minimize damage to brain tissue. Converselythe implants developed by Elon Musk’s company, Neuralink, are larger and require direct implantation into brain tissue.
2023, a pivotal year for brain implants?
“I think that’s a big advantage over technologies that require, for example, a craniotomy, the removal of a significant portion of the skull, which takes a long time and carries a lot of risk of infection. I never met someone who wanted a hole drilled in their skull“, explains Michael Mager, CEO of the company, to CNBC. To set up the device, a very fine slit of less than a millimeter is necessary.
Michael Mager leads the company founded in 2021 alongside Benjamin Rapoport, once co-founder of Neuralink. The company plans to market several versions of its Layer 7 Cortical Interface, with more or fewer electrodes depending on patient needs. On its site, Precision Neuroscience already mentions successes, still experimental, in the field. “Control robotic arms, play video games and send messages by thought alone“are already part of the many possibilities offered by BCIs.
In the coming months, the company hopes to obtain FDA approval to test the technology in humans, and validate the first results. For Michael Mager, 2023 could well be a watershed year for brain implants.
“I think the brain is, in many ways, the next frontier of modern medicine”, sketches the CEO, who calls for more speed in the development of devices. And to add: “We don’t want the next 15 years to look like the last 15.”