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NTU wireless neural implants allow brain data transmission

Posted: 15 Feb 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:neural implants? embedded? wireless?

A new smartchip developed by scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore allows wireless transmission of brain signals when paired with neural implants.

These neural implants are embedded in the brain and can ease the crippling symptoms of Parkinson's disease or allow the paraplegic to move their prosthetic limbs.

However, they need to be connected by wires to an external device outside the body. For a prosthetic patient, the neural implant is connected to a computer that decodes the brain signals so the artificial limb can move.

These external wires are not only cumbersome but the permanent openings which allow the wires into the brain increases the risk of infections.

The new chip by NTU scientists can allow the transmission of brain data wirelessly and with high accuracy.

Assistant Professor Arindam Basu from NTU's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering said the research team have tested the chip on data recorded from animal models, which showed that it could decode the brain's signal to the hand and fingers with 95 per cent accuracy.

"What we have developed is a very versatile smart chip that can process data, analyse patterns and spot the difference," explained Prof Basu.

"It is about a hundred times more efficient than current processing chips on the market. It will lead to more compact medical wearable devices, such as portable ECG monitoring devices and neural implants, since we no longer need large batteries to power them."





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