Wireless chip in brain to control prosthetic limbs
Pioneering research at the University of Leicester attracts international media coverage
Issued 05 July 2010
A team of researchers, including academics from the Engineering Department at the University of Leicester, have been awarded a £1.2 million grant by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) to develop a chip which can be implanted in the brain.
The chip will be wirelessly connected to prosthetic limbs. It will collect data from neuron activity in the brain, and send the information wirelessly to move prosthetic arms or legs.
The technology has the potential to enable patients with spinal cord injuries to move paralysed parts of their bodies by using robotic devices which are controlled by the wireless chip.
The use of wireless technology provides an alternate to cables, which can be obtrusive and have risk of infections.
This ground-breaking research is being developed by academics from the University of Leicester, Newcastle University and Imperial College London. The research has been featured in national magazines and newspapers.
Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, who is a Bioengineer and is heading up this research at Leicester, commented:
“This research is the first of its kind. We are addressing the problem of how to transmit a signal of hundreds of neurons from inside the brain to outside the brain. The answer is by using wireless technology and advanced processing in a chip. This research will develop new technology to transmit messages from the brain to elsewhere in the body.”
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