Neuralink wants to test the brain chip on humans. What is known about this?
Elon Musk’s technology company Neuralink has approached one of the largest US neurosurgical centers with a proposal for a partnership for clinical trials of brain implants in humans. Insiders close to the company said what exactly Neuralink wants to inject into the head of the first “tester”.
The company currently lacks US regulatory approval to start human trials. According to Reuters, in early 2022, the application was rejected by the US Food and Drug Administration, citing “serious safety concerns.” Since then, Neuralink has been working to fix the violations and perhaps the new filing signals a fix.
Another problem is the lack of experienced surgeons with the necessary equipment. To solve it, the company turned to the Barrow Neurological Institute. The organization has experience in this area and has performed 175,000 deep brain stimulation device implants since 1997 to help treat Parkinson’s disease.
Francisco Ponce, director of the neuromodulation and neurosurgery division at the institute, said that their center has helped to standardize operations to implant equipment into the brain, during which the patient can sleep – this is exactly what Elon Musk is looking for. According to the businessman, over time, Neuralink chips will become as common as eye surgery.
The status of cooperation between organizations has not yet been announced. If they reach an agreement, the brain of the first tester will be implanted with an electronic chip that functions as a brain-computer interface (BCI). To do this, the Neuralink device must be connected to certain areas of the brain using electrodes in the form of flexible threads. You can read more about this in our special material .
So far, no company has been able to get US approval for a BCI implant. Neuralink itself has not yet announced any official dates for the start of testing chips in humans.