Neuralink successfully implanted a chip in the brain of the first patient

Having long sought the right to startClinical trials on humans This year, Neuralink has already carried out the first operation to implant an implant into a patient’s brain that allows him to interact with a computer. Previously, it was reported that in total this year such operations would be performed on 11 volunteer patients.

Most people take this riskare driven by severe motor impairments that prevent them from moving their limbs independently. Neuralink hopes to configure the interface between the human brain and a computer so that patients can effectively control bionic prosthetics or exoskeletons, and ideally begin to move their own limbs.

Yesterday Elon Musk on the pages of hissocial network X admitted that the first person received a Neuralink implant and is now recovering after surgery. Let us recall that a small cylindrical implant is installed in a hole in the human skull, and it is connected to the brain with the thinnest electrodes. According to the company's plan, specialized robots should carry out such operations. Elon Musk added that the first results are encouraging, since the implant is already able to record the activity of the patient’s neurons.

The company has already come up with a name for itsimplant, which plans to mass-produce if clinical trials are successful. Referred to as Telepathy, it would allow a person to control a smartphone or computer, or any other device, “literally with the power of thought.” The goal of the startup, according to Musk, is to help people with severe disorders in the interaction of the brain with the nervous system. “Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than an experienced typist can type text or pronounce the words of an auctioneer,” the head of the company gave an example.

Let us recall that at the previous stages of testingThe Neuralink solution was used by experimental monkeys to control objects in computer games using brain signals. A macaque implanted with a chip, for example, played ping-pong on a computer display. The company initially wanted to move on to testing the implant in humans by the end of 2019, but permission was only obtained in the past. The electrodes that penetrate the patient's cerebral cortex go less than 2 millimeters deep, but that's more than most competing solutions. It usually takes about six months to test the implants on the first group of five or ten patients. If everything goes well at this stage, the company will be able to expand its trials. Neuralink's scientific advisers say it will be years before the company's brain implants are approved for mass use.