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Two-Way Data Neuroprosthetic Implants

IMEC's electrode array and its PC counterpart.

For a few years now, there have been a multitude of brain-implanted signal detection arrays - like the infamous BrainGate. Likewise, there have been brain stimulation electrode arrays, which returned patterned signals to specific brain areas, writing data back to the brain.

Normally, if you desired I/O, you had to have one of each. Hopefully, those days may now be behind us. IMEC, a nanotechnology company out of Leuven, Belgium, has developed a new approach to neuroprosthetics, an electrode probe that is capable of two-way data transfer. It can read neighbouring electrical impulses, and at the same time, transmit new impulses back.

As an added bonus, the electrode is significantly thinner than those we have been able to use up till now, at just 10 micrometers each.

Arrays at this scale, are still much larger than the neurons around them, but it is now conceivable that an entire 100 pin array might be just 100 micrometers in size. Plus, each of those electrodes, would be capable of reading, and writing neural signals.


IMEC?s design strategy for brain implants paves the way to multi-electrode deep-brain stimulation

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