First Failures of Human Brain Chip Implant Reported

Neuralink Faces Mechanical Issues in Human Brain Chip Implant: A Closer Look at the First Quadriplegic Patient and the Future of Neuralink Technology

In early 2024, Neuralink successfully performed its first brain chip implant in a patient named Noland Arbaugh, who became quadriplegic in 2016. Noland became the first human to receive the implant, with the objective of evaluating the safety of the implant and surgical robot, as well as testing the functionalities of the device. However, Neuralink confirmed that the device implanted in Noland experienced mechanical problems.

During the initial months, everything seemed to be going smoothly. According to information published by Neuralink, everything worked normally for Noland. However, he began experiencing connectivity failures due to some threads retracting from his brain, which caused a decrease in the number of effective electrodes. As a result, the connection between his brain and the chip decreased. Neuralink quickly found a possible solution by modifying the algorithm that records electrical signals.

This modification led to a significant improvement in performance for Noland. Despite this being more of a temporary fix, Neuralink continues to search for a long-term measure that does not require intervention in an operating room. The company had tested the device on animals before implanting it in Noland Arbaugh but experts note that animals have smaller brains and differing electrode movement compared to humans.

Before receiving his implant, Noland used a tablet stylus held in his mouth to interact with electronic devices, limiting his communication and multitasking abilities.

Neuralink is currently working on improving text input and cursor control on its device and plans to expand its use into physical devices like robotic arms and wheelchairs in the future. Despite facing challenges such as mechanical problems with its first human patient’s device, Neuralink’s dedication to improving technology shows its potential to significantly impact users’ lives.

The road ahead for Neuralink chips is long but these advances demonstrate their commitment to innovation and progress.

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