HomeTech The first Neuralink implant partially detached from the patient’s brain

The first Neuralink implant partially detached from the patient’s brain

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The first Neuralink implant partially detached from the patient's brain

Neuralink’s first attempt to implant its chip into a human’s skull suffered an unexpected setback after the device began to detach from the patient’s brain, the company revealed Wednesday.

The patient, Noland Arbaugh, underwent surgery in February to place a Neuralink chip in his brain, but the device’s functionality began to decline a month after his implant. Some of the device’s threads, which connect the miniature computer to the brain, had begun to retract. Neuralink did not reveal why the device partially retracted from Arbaugh’s brain, but stated in a blog post that their engineers had refined the implant and restored its functionality.

The decline in his abilities did not appear to endanger Arbaugh, and he was still able to use the implant to play a game of chess on a computer using his thoughts. according to the Wall Street Journal, who was the first to break the news of the problem with the chip. The possibility of removing the implant was considered after the dislodgement came to light, the Journal reported.

Arbaugh’s implant began having problems in late February, according to Neuralink’s blog post, when an undisclosed number of wires on the chip “retracted from the brain, resulting in a net decrease in the number of effective electrodes.” . This decreased the device’s bits per second, which is essentially an indicator of how well the implant could perform its tasks.

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Neuralink, owned by Elon Musk and was valued worth about $5 billion last year, has widely touted the success of its first implant, positioning itself as a world leader in brain chip technology. Although the device is still in its early stages, the company’s disclosure draws more attention to the complicated and unproven nature of the experimental procedure.

Neuralink implants work by embedding a small container in the skull that houses a processing chip and battery, along with 64 fine threads that connect to brain tissue and interact with the neural signals it sends. Arbaugh, who is a quadriplegic, can control computing devices such as a keyboard or mouse cursor with his implant.

Arbaugh praised the implant during a rally in March, saying it had “already changed his life,” though he also said it hadn’t been perfect and that “they’ve run into some problems.”

Before Neuralink performed its first implant in humans, it experimented extensively for years on animals, including sheep, pigs and monkeys. Regulators have launched several investigations into the company practices in those animal experimentation laboratories, at the beginning of this year saying they found quality control and record-keeping problems at a California research center.

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