Versatile chip also offers multiple applications in various electronic devices
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a small smart chip that can be paired with neural implants for efficient wireless transmission of brain signals.
Neural implants when embedded in the brain can alleviate the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or give paraplegic people the ability 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.”
Different from other wireless implants
To achieve high accuracy in decoding brain signals, implants require thousands of channels of raw data. To wirelessly transmit this large amount of data, more power is also needed which means either bigger batteries or more frequent recharging.
This is not feasible as there is limited space in the brain for implants while frequent recharging means the implants cannot be used for long-term recording of signals.
Current wireless implant prototypes thus suffer from a lack of accuracy as they lack the bandwidth to send out thousands of channels of raw data.
Instead of enlarging the power source to support the transmission of raw data, Asst Prof Basu tried to reduce the amount of data that needs to be transmitted.
Designed to be extremely power-efficient, NTU’s patented smart chip will analyse and decode the thousands of signals from the neural implants in the brain, before compressing the results and sending it wirelessly to a small external receiver.
This invention and its findings were published last month in the prestigious journal, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits & Systems, by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology.
Its underlying science was also featured in three international engineering conferences (two in Atlanta, USA and one in China) over the last three months.
Versatile smart chip with multiple uses
This new smart chip is designed to analyse data patterns and spot any abnormal or unusual patterns.
For example, in a remote video camera, the chip can be programmed to send a video back to the servers only when a specific type of car or something out of the ordinary is detected, such as an intruder.
This would be extremely beneficial for the Internet of Things (IOT), where every electrical and electronic device is connected to the Internet through a smart chip.
With a report by marketing research firm Gartner Inc predicting that 6.4 billion smart devices and appliances will be connected to the Internet by 2016, and will rise to 20.8 billion devices by 2020, reducing network traffic will be a priority for most companies.
Using NTU’s new chip, the devices can process and analyse the data on site, before sending back important details in a compressed package, instead of sending the whole data stream. This will reduce data usage by over a thousand times.
Asst Prof Basu is now in talks with Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited to adapt his smart chip that can significantly reduce power consumption and the amount of data transmitted by battery-operated remote sensors, such as video cameras.
The team is also looking to expand the applications of the chip into commercial products, such as to customise it for smart home sensor networks, in collaboration with a local electronics company.
The Latest on: Wireless neural implants
via Google News
The Latest on: Wireless neural implants
- DARPA Needs a Brain-Computing Interface for Human Soldiers to Control AI with their Neurons on June 10, 2019 at 7:11 am
Current state-of-the-art neuronal interfaces require invasive surgery to implant silicon-based or metal electrodes ... option to become a cyborg (or transhuman) after attaching a wireless neural ... […]
- Biotechnology: Using wireless power to light up tiny neural stimulators on June 10, 2019 at 7:08 am
Optogenetics must target the neural population without altering ... control of the parameters of interest. An ideal wireless optical implant must therefore: Be miniature in the millimeter scale ... […]
- Wireless Network Brings Dust-Sized Brain Implants a Step Closer on May 24, 2019 at 5:18 pm
Photo: Brown University Wireless brain implants called neurograins would form a network that can sense neural activity and send to an external computer for interpretation. Brain-computer ... […]
- Reversing Paralysis: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017 on March 6, 2019 at 9:47 am
A wireless connection joined the two ... thanks to a brain implant wired to machines. Now researchers are taking a significant next step toward reversing paralysis once and for all. They are ... […]
- Wireless Brain Implant Could Help Patients Control Computers Using Their Minds on February 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Rats aren’t the only ones getting brain implants that help them communicate this morning. Researchers at Brown University are touting the latest developments they’ve made in a neural implant ... has ... […]
- A Wireless Neural Implant Might Jolt the Brain out of Seizures on January 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm
For people with neurological conditions like severe epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, a small device may someday help manage symptoms by sitting on the surface of the brain, monitoring its electrical ... […]
- Wireless 'Neural Dust' Could Monitor Your Brain on August 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Wireless powered implants, each smaller than a grain of rice, could serve as "neural dust" that can one day scan and stimulate brain cells. Such research could one day help lead to next-generation ... […]
- Tiny Wireless Optical Implant for Neural Control on April 26, 2018 at 8:51 am
Researchers in Japan have developed a tiny optical implant, no bigger than the width of a coin, that could be used to change neural behavior. The researchers can implant the device several centimeters ... […]
- So, You Regret That Brain Implant. Now What? on April 17, 2018 at 11:00 am
If anyone understands the unique level of risk associated with getting a neural implant ... for human applications is headed for some form of wireless control scheme. So now, both removal of the ... […]
- New smart chip makes low-powered, wireless neural implants a possibility on September 10, 2017 at 2:21 pm
(Nanowerk News) Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a small smart chip that can be paired with neural implants for efficient wireless transmission ... […]
via Bing News