The stentrode (stent-based electrode) is a new implant that could give paralyzed people greater mobility. While there is existing research about how brain implants can be used to translate brain activity into movement, these devices require open brain surgery for implantation. Now there is a new device that can perform similar functions without the need for open brain surgery.
The stentrode is a paper clip-sized implant that sits in a vein next to the brain's motor cortex instead of directly in the brain. The device detects neural activity and then translates this information into a computer language so that it can interface with electronics. This means that those with the implant can control exoskeletons and prosthetic limbs simply by thinking about the act of movement.
While the device is still in the early stages of research, the stentrode will be tested on paraplegic and quadriplegic patients at Australia's Royal Melbourne Hospital as early as 2017.
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