Neuralink receives FDA approval to commence the first Human Brain Implant study

Neuralink receives FDA approval to commence the first Human Brain Implant study

Today, May 25, Neuralink received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence their inaugural human brain implant trials. "We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study! This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people. Recruitment is not yet open for our clinical trial. We’ll announce more information on this soon!" announced Neuralink representatives via Twitter.

Neuralink, under the visionary leadership of Elon Musk, hosted a captivating 'Show & Tell' presentation at their headquarters in Fremont, California, on November 30, 2022. The company, dedicated to advancing neuro-technology, developed a remarkable brain-computer interface known as the 'Link' chip. This extraordinary coin-sized device boasted an astounding 1,024 electrode threads that are intricately implanted into the brain's motor cortex, stimulating the neurons within. The company said at that time that they were working on a next-generation Link chip that will have 4,098 channels. 

During the awe-inspiring presentation, Neuralink engineers unveiled their remarkable progress in developing the Link chip and astounded the audience by demonstrating its astonishing capabilities. A monkey named 'Sake,' bearing the implant in its brain, took center stage as it showcased its telepathic typing skills. Through sheer thoughts, Sake manipulated a virtual keyboard, deftly moving the cursor to spell out phrases that left spectators in awe. The monkey flawlessly typed, "welcome to show and tell" and "can I please have snacks," utilizing an ingenious system where Sake tracked the yellow-highlighted letters on the screen, akin to playing a video game (see video clip below). By registering the brain activity and wirelessly transmitting signals, the Link chip enabled the primate to navigate the computer screen with the power of its mind alone. Musk expressed confidence in the groundbreaking achievement, stating, “We are confident someone who has no other interface to the outside world would be better to control their phone better than someone who has working hands," Musk said at the event. "Sake the monkey is moving the mouse cursor using just his mind."

Neuralink's ultimate objective is to first restore mobility to paralyzed individuals. “As miraculous as that may sound, we are confident that it is possible to restore full-body functionality to someone who has a severed spinal cord,” said Musk. Neuralink is working “to enable someone who has almost no possibility to activate his or her muscles” move again, “We are confident we can bridge the connection between the motor cortex to a Neuralink located in the spinal cord,” he said. Musk also shared that Neuralink will be capable of helping blind people see again “even if they have never seen before.” “The first application we will be aiming for is human vision. Even if someone never had vision, like if they were born blind, we are confident that we can restore vision since the visual cortex is still there," he said last year.  

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Featured Image Source: Neuralink.com

About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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