Elon Musk's Neuralink Brain Implants Approved for Human Trials

The announcement comes despite concerns over the safety of the company’s animal testing phase

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

June 13, 2023

1 Min Read

Elon Musk’s brain implant startup, Neuralink, has announced its brain chip technology has been approved for the first human trials.

Details of the study have not yet been disclosed, though the company said recruitment details would be available in due course.

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The company’s website describes the chips and associated “brain interface” as capable of bringing autonomy to people with “unmet medical needs,” designed to enable remote control of computers, smartphones and other connected devices.

The chip works by connecting to electrical signals from a brain’s neurons and transmitting the information to a smart device via Bluetooth. Such a system could, theoretically, be used to aid sufferers of paralysis as the chips can stimulate body movement by sending signals back to the muscles.

A surgical robot has been designed for the implant process as Neuralink says the process is too complex for human surgeons to complete.

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The FDA approval comes despite concerns over the safety of animal testing of Neuralink’s device. A 2022 report detailing accounts of rushed trials and unnecessary animal deaths. According to the report, about 1,500 animals died in the company’s experiments since 2018, including more than 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys.

The report’s findings led to a federal investigation into the accounts.

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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