Yes, you heard correct! This is the stentrode, described as a “bionic spinal cord”, and it records brain activity and converts those signals into electrical commands to control bionic limbs — according to results from clinical trials. Doctors say it could also let a person pull a Professor Charles Xavier and move a wheelchair using only their thoughts.
You Guessed Right!
Professor Clive May (no, not X), a neurophysiologist at the Florey Institute, stated that the stentrode offer users the ability to once again become mobile. The aim is to test this device in a small group of spinal cord patients next year at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. What’s amazing is that this device DOES NOT REQUIRE major brain surgery (no craniotomy needed), requiring only needing to be installed via a small nick in the blood vessel in the neck, followed by putting it in a blood vessel in the brain.
Professor May (again, NO, not X) said that:
“What has been shown in other instances is that patients can learn over time to use their brain to move devices in a particular way that they choose to do. What we have done is taken a stent, which is normally put into an artery to expand the artery. We’ve used that same technology and we’ve put micro-electrodes around it and we worked out a way of inserting this up through blood vessels into a blood vessel in the brain that’s just above the motor cortex, which is the part of the brain that controls movement.”
[Thanks ABC News Australia]