Under DARPA’s Reliable Neural-Interface Technology program, a team from the University of Melbourne has created a new device called a ‘stentrode’ that, when implanted near one’s brain, is able to read signals from neurons. The work was done as part of a DARPA project, and it is said to be safer than implants requiring brain surgery. The device is about the size of a paperclip, according to the researchers, and it is implanted through a blood vessel.
DARPA, which seeks such devices for its various projects, detailed the prototype device in a statement today, saying the researchers performed a proof-of-concept study using sheep. The stentrode, as it’s called, takes “high-fidelity measurements” of brain cells — in the case of the sheep, the researchers took measurements of the part of the brain that controls voluntary movements.
Stents, generally speaking, are common medical tools for clearing blood vessels, among other things. The researchers in this case used readily available stent technology and transformed it into something new, adding an array of electrodes on materials designed to be stiff enough to hold them, but flexible enough to be maneuvered into a blood vessel.
Research Credit: Slartibardfast
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