Researchers at Brown University have succeeded in creating the first wireless, implantable, rechargeable, long-term brain-computer interface. The wireless BCIs have been implanted in pigs and monkeys for over 13 months without issue, and human subjects are next.
We’ve covered BCIs extensively here on ExtremeTech, but historically they’ve been bulky and tethered to a computer. A tether limits the mobility of the patient, and also the real-world testing that can be performed by the researchers. Brown’s wireless BCI allows the subject to move freely, dramatically increasing the quantity and quality of data that can be gathered — instead of watching what happens when a monkey moves its arm, scientists can now analyze its brain activity during complex activity, such as foraging or social interaction. Obviously, once the wireless implant is approved for human testing, being able to move freely — rather than strapped to a chair in the lab — would be rather empowering.
Brown’s wireless BCI, fashioned out of hermetically sealed titanium, looks a lot like a pacemaker. (See: Brain pacemaker helps treat Alzheimer’s disease.) Inside there’s a li-ion battery, an inductive (wireless) charging loop, a chip that digitizes the signals from your brain, and an antenna for transmitting those neural spikes to a nearby computer. The BCI is connected to a small chip with 100 electrodes protruding from it, which, in this study, was embedded in the somatosensory cortex or motor cortex. These 100 electrodes produce a lot of data, which the BCI transmits at 24Mbps over the 3.2 and 3.8GHz bands to a receiver that is one meter away. The BCI’s battery takes two hours to charge via wireless inductive charging, and then has enough juice to last for six hours of use.
One of the features that the Brown researchers seem most excited about is the device’s power consumption, which is just 100 milliwatts. For a device that might eventually find its way into humans, frugal power consumption is a key factor that will enable all-day, highly mobile usage
Image Credit: Brown University
Although skin aging has not been related to many health complications, it has aesthetic issues. Some of the common symptoms of skin aging are changes in the skin texture (rough, dry, and itchy), discoloration, [...]
In an article published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, researchers have highlighted the significance and potential risks associated with the release of nanoparticles from coal-fired power plants. Applying the single-particle inductively coupled plasma mass [...]
A paper recently published in the journal ACS Applied Energy Materials demonstrated the feasibility of using a covalent organic framework (COF)-based nanofluidic hybrid membranes (NHMs) to attain enhanced interfacial ion transport for the generation of osmotic [...]
The excess fluoroquinolones (FQs) discharged into the aquatic environment due to human activities must be removed cost-effectively. In an article published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, the authors fabricated an environment-friendly dealkaline lignin-grafted Fe3O4 nanoparticles [...]
Controlling strong electromagnetic fields on nanoparticles is the key to triggering targeted molecular reactions on their surfaces. Such control over strong fields is achieved via laser light. Although laser-induced formation and breaking of molecular [...]
A paper recently published in the journal Nature Communications demonstrated an effective method to realize on-chip nanophotonic topological rainbow devices using the concept of synthetic dimensions. Importance of Synthetic Dimensions for the Construction of Topological Nanophotonics [...]
In a study available in the journal Materials Today: Proceedings, silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were fabricated using a green method using Citrus X sinensis. Methylthioninium Chloride (MB) Dyes Threatening the Environment Dye and sewage drainage into [...]
Public health experts are divided over how many people are getting long COVID-19, a potentially debilitating condition that comes after a patient has recovered from the coronavirus. Ill effects from the condition can include [...]
Well over two years into the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of COVID cases continue to be recorded around the world every day. With the rise of new variants, the symptoms of COVID have also evolved. Initially, [...]
Drug resistance is a common phenomenon, with drugs becoming less and less effective as their usage increases. To address this issue, a novel technique employing conjugated polymer-based nanoparticles is presented in the study published [...]
Microrobots have the potential to revolutionize medicine. Researchers at the Max Planck ETH Centre for Learning Systems have now developed an imaging technique that for the first time recognises cell-sized microrobots individually and at [...]
Scientists have recently developed multifunctional hexagonal NaxWO3 nanocrystals that can serve as microwave sensitizers to kill cancer cells as well as improve the overall chemodynamic therapy (CDT). This study is available as a pre-proof in Chemical Engineering Journal. [...]
Apple’s visionary founder, the late Steve Jobs once said, “the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology”. And that prediction is coming true in the drug [...]
Chemical separation processes are essential in the manufacturing of many products from gasoline to whiskey. Such processes are energetically costly, accounting for approximately 10–15 percent of global energy consumption. In particular, the use of [...]