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HomeBlogNeuralink’s first in-human brain implant has experienced a problem, company says

Neuralink’s first in-human brain implant has experienced a problem, company says

Elon Musk’s business Neuralink said on Wednesday that a component of its brain implant malfunctioned after being implanted in a human patient for the first time.

Neuralink has developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) that could potentially allow paralyzed patients to operate external technologies using only their brains. According to the company’s website, the Link system records neural signals using 1,024 electrodes spread across 64 “threads” that are thinner than a human hair.

In January, Neuralink implanted the device in Noland Arbaugh, a 29-year-old patient, as part of a safety trial. The business streamed a live video of Arbaugh using the BCI in March, and Neuralink stated in an April blog post that the procedure went “extremely well.”

However, in the weeks that followed, a number of threads retreated from Arbaugh’s brain, according to a blog post published on Wednesday by Neuralink. This resulted in fewer effective electrodes, limiting the company’s ability to test the Link’s speed and accuracy.

Neuralink did not specify how many threads were pulled from the tissue. The corporation did not immediately react to CNBC’s request for comment.

As a remedy, Neuralink said it adjusted the recording method, improved the user interface, and worked to improve signal-to-cursor translation procedures, according to the blog post. Neuralink apparently considered removing the implant, but the issue did not represent a direct threat to Arbaugh’s safety, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on it. According to the report, Neuralink published a blog post after the Journal inquired about the issue.

Though some threads retracted from Arbaugh’s brain tissue, Neuralink stated that he uses the company’s BCI system for approximately eight hours per day during the week and up to ten hours per day on weekends.

According to the blog post, Arbaugh described the Link as a “luxury overload” that has allowed him to “reconnect with the world.”

Neuralink isn’t the first firm developing a BCI system; the technology has been studied in academic settings for decades.

Neuralink must complete extensive safety and efficacy testing before being eligible for FDA permission to commercialize the technology.



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