Blow to Elon Musk: Synchron implants the first brain chip in a human, surpassing Neuralink

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Synchron implanted the first brain chip in a human, surpassing Neuralink, a company owned by Elon Musk. He did it at Mount Sinai West, New York, led by Dr. Shahram Majidi.

Dr. Tom Oxley’s company made brain-computer interface (BCI) implantation using an endovascular approach, without the need for invasive open-brain surgery, as part of the COMMAND trial.

“It is an incredibly exciting milestone for the field, due to its implications and enormous potential,” explained Dr. Majidi in a statement. “The implantation procedure went extremely well and the patient was able to go home 48 hours after surgery.”

This is how the Synchron chip was implanted in the patient’s brain

The patient, whose name has been withheld, suffers from severe paralysis. Thanks to the Synchron chip, you will be able to control digital devices without using your hands, achieving improvements in functional independence.

The person had a so-called Stentrode chip implanted within the motor cortex of the brain, via the jugular vein in a minimally invasive endovascular procedure.

The chip detects and wirelessly transmits the intention of the motor, using a proprietary digital language to allow the patient to control their personal devices by simply pointing.

According to Synchron, the person will be able to send text messages, emails, shop online and access telehealth services.

“We are beyond excited to work with our patient, guiding them through the training process as they learn to use this device to live more independently and, more importantly, communicate with family and friends.” said Dr. David Putrino of Mount Sinai and principal investigator of the COMMAND study.

Technology for people suffering from paralysis

Neuralink’s rival company is based in New York, and was founded in 2012 by Dr. Tom Oxley. “The first human implantation of an endovascular BCI in the US is an important clinical milestone that opens new possibilities for paralyzed patients,” Oxley said in the release.

“Our technology is for the millions of people who have lost the ability to use their hands to control digital devices. We are excited to introduce a scalable BCI solution to the market, one that has the potential to transform so many lives.”

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