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Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain-Chip’s Human Trial Begins | All You Need To Know

Elon Musk's startup Neuralink’s brain-chip experiment is now undergoing a trial for its wireless brain-computer interface to ascertain the safety of the implant and surgical robot.

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Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Neuralink Photo: AP
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For the first time, a brain- chip manufactured by Elon Musk’s startup Neuralink got implanted inside a human brain on Sunday. According to Musk, the founder of the company, the patient has been recovering well and has also shown promising spike detection.

"Initial results show promising neuron spike detection," Musk tweeted on Monday.

Neuralink’s brain-chip experiment is now undergoing a trial for its wireless brain-computer interface to ascertain the safety of the implant and the surgical robot.

In 2023, the startup received the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval to conduct its first human trial. In September, Neuralink said it received approval for recruitment for the human trial for paralysis patients.

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About the Neuralink brain chip

In the ambitious brain-chip study, a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant is surgically placed by a robot in a region of the brain that controls the intention to move, according to the manufacturer Neuralink. The primary objective of the brain chip is to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone.  The "ultra-fine" threads of the implants are expected to help transmit signals in participants' brains.

The patient’s response is evaluated through the ‘spikes’ that denote the activity by neurons, which by using electrical and chemical signals,  send information around the brain and to the body.

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Violation of safety protocols

However, before starting with the human trial, the company underwent scrutiny regarding its safety protocols. It has been reported that the company was fined for violating US Department of Transportation (DOT) rules regarding the movement of hazardous materials.

Following the veterinary records showing problems with the implants in monkeys including paralysis, seizures, and brain swelling, four lawmakers ordered an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to ascertain whether Musk had misled investors about the safety of its technology.

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