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Home Industry News New brain-machine interface offers new hope for paralysed people

New brain-machine interface offers new hope for paralysed people

11th February 2016

Scientists at the University of Melbourne have developed a new minimally invasive brain-machine interface with a potentially wide range of medical applications.

The system consists of a stent-based electrode that can be implanted within a blood vessel next to the brain to record the type of neural activity that has been shown in preclinical trials to move limbs through an exoskeleton, or to control bionic limbs.

Around the size of a small paperclip, the device is also capable of recording high-quality signals emitted from the brain's motor cortex without the need for open brain surgery. This could allow brainwave activity to be measured over long periods of time without damage.

It is thought that this system could be used to translate neural signals into commands to control wheelchairs, exoskeletons, prosthetic limbs or computers more naturally and unobtrusively than ever before.

Principal author Dr Thomas Oxley, a neurologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a research fellow at the University of Melbourne, said: "In our first-in-human trial, which we anticipate will begin within two years, we are hoping to achieve direct brain control of an exoskeleton for three people with paralysis."

The interface also offers the potential to aid the treatment and monitoring of conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson's and other neurological disorders.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801812377-ADNFCR

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