Synchron reported the first successful installation of a brain-computer interface implant in a patient in the United States. Prior to this, the company had successfully installed the interface on four patients in Australia. The positive experience with the Australians allowed Synchron to obtain permission to conduct a similar operation with a US citizen. Installation of the interface is very simple without major surgical intervention. And it works!
Unlike Elon Musk’s Neuralink, which requires the patient’s skull to be opened for installation, Synchron’s endovascular brain-computer interface (BCI) is inserted into the brain through a blood vessel at the base of the neck into another vessel located in the brain and fed to his motor cortex. The Stentrode sensor, the size of a match or slightly larger, transmits a signal via a wire to a radio transmitter embedded in a person’s chest, which sends signals to a computer via a wireless channel.
Synchron’s BCI complex allows patients with paralyzed limbs to use a computer, send e-mail, make purchases on the Internet and, in general, restore the joy of communicating with loved ones and society to terminally ill people.
Synchron received approval for US clinical trials of its endovascular brain-computer interface complex this spring. The first operation was performed at the Mount Sinai West Clinic in New York under the direction of clinical investigator Shahram Majidi, MD, associate professor of neurosurgery, neurology and radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The patient was able to return home as early as 48 hours after the implant was placed, suggesting a minor surgical intervention and minimal impact on the patient’s health.