Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Noninvasive brain implant could someday translate thoughts into movement

Date:
June 17, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
A brain implant developed at the University of Michigan uses the body's skin like a conductor to wirelessly transmit the brain's neural signals to control a computer, and may eventually be used to reactivate paralyzed limbs.

A brain implant developed at the University of Michigan uses the body's skin like a conductor to wirelessly transmit the brain's neural signals to control a computer, and may eventually be used to reactivate paralyzed limbs.
Credit: Photo provided by Euisik Yoon of University of Michigan

A brain implant developed at the University of Michigan uses the body's skin like a conductor to wirelessly transmit the brain's neural signals to control a computer, and may eventually be used to reactivate paralyzed limbs.

The implant is called the BioBolt, and unlike other neural interface technologies that establish a connection from the brain to an external device such as a computer, it's minimally invasive and low power, said principal investigator Euisik Yoon, a professor in the U-M College of Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Currently, the skull must remain open while neural implants are in the head, which makes using them in a patient's daily life unrealistic, said Kensall Wise, the William Gould Dow Distinguished University professor emeritus in engineering.

BioBolt does not penetrate the cortex and is completely covered by the skin to greatly reduce risk of infection. Researchers believe it's a critical step toward the Holy Grail of brain-computer interfacing: allowing a paralyzed person to "think" a movement.

"The ultimate goal is to be able to reactivate paralyzed limbs," by picking the neural signals from the brain cortex and transmitting those signals directly to muscles, said Wise, who is also founding director of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems (WIMS ERC). That technology is years away, the researchers say.

Another promising application for the BioBolt is controlling epilepsy, and diagnosing certain diseases like Parkinson's.

The concept of BioBolt is filed for patent and was presented on June 16 at the 2011 Symposium on VLSI Circuits in Kyoto, Japan. Sun-Il Chang, a PhD student in Yoon's research group, is lead author on the presentation.

The BioBolt looks like a bolt and is about the circumference of a dime, with a thumbnail-sized film of microcircuits attached to the bottom. The BioBolt is implanted in the skull beneath the skin and the film of microcircuits sits on the brain. The microcircuits act as microphones to 'listen' to the overall pattern of firing neurons and associate them with a specific command from the brain. Those signals are amplified and filtered, then converted to digital signals and transmitted through the skin to a computer, Yoon said.

Another hurdle to brain interfaces is the high power requirement for transmitting data wirelessly from the brain to an outside source. BioBolt keeps the power consumption low by using the skin as a conductor or a signal pathway, which is analogous to downloading a video into your computer simply by touching the video.

Eventually, the hope is that the signals can be transmitted through the skin to something on the body, such as a watch or a pair of earrings, to collect the signals, said Yoon, eliminating the need for an off-site computer to process the signals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Noninvasive brain implant could someday translate thoughts into movement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110616193623.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2011, June 17). Noninvasive brain implant could someday translate thoughts into movement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110616193623.htm
University of Michigan. "Noninvasive brain implant could someday translate thoughts into movement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110616193623.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The tech press has shared its thoughts on the latest iterations of Apple's iPhone. We summarize the reactions to help you decide: iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
2K Drafts Face-Mapping Tech for New Game

2K Drafts Face-Mapping Tech for New Game

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) "NBA 2K15" is angling for a slam dunk with an innovative new way to put players in the game. Gamers will be able to digitally graft lifelike 3D renditions of their faces onto virtual players using the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One cameras. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FBI Finishes $1 Billion Facial Recognition System

FBI Finishes $1 Billion Facial Recognition System

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) The FBI announced it plans to make its Next Generation Identification System available to law enforcement, but some privacy advocates are worried. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A+ for Apple iPhone Pre-Sales

A+ for Apple iPhone Pre-Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 15, 2014) Apple says it received a record 4 million first-day pre-orders for its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, pushing delivery dates into October. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins