WASHINGTON, USA: Researchers have invented a mobile phone-like sensor to relay signals from specific parts of the brain to aid paralysis patients control devices with their thoughts, an American study says.
Engineers at the Brown University have developed a wireless, broadband, rechargeable and fully implantable brain sensor that has performed well in animal models for more than a year, according to the Journal of Neural Engineering.
The low-power wireless brain sensor is capable of relaying real-time broadband signals from up to 100 neurons in freely moving subjects.
The initiative is a first in the brain-computer interface field that could help people with severe paralysis control devices with their thoughts, reports Science Daily.
“This has features that are somewhat akin to a mobile phone, except the conversation that is being sent out is the brain talking wirelessly,” Arto Nurmikko, professor of engineering at the Brown University, said.
Neuroscientists can use such a device to observe, record, and analyze the signals emitted by scores of neurons in particular parts of the animal model’s brain.
In the device, a pill-sized chip of electrodes implanted on the cortex sends signals through uniquely designed electrical connections into the device’s laser-welded, hermetically sealed titanium “can”.
“The device uses less than 100 milliwatts of power, a key figure of merit,” Nurmikko said.