3D-printed neural implants could link brains to computers

Written by Sharon Salt, Senior Editor

3D-printed neural implants have been created that could be used to develop treatments for nervous system disorders. Scientists hope that this preliminary research can be progressed to develop treatments for paralysis.

The study, which has been published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, included an international team of researchers from the University of Sheffield (UK), St Petersburg State University (Russia) and Technische Universität Dresden (Germany).

Within their study, the team demonstrated that the implant could fit well on the surface of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles. They believe that this technology can enable brains to be linked to computers through neural interfaces – a concept that would provide low-cost and quick prototypes, which may facilitate quick advancements in research and development.

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Sources: Afanasenkau D, Kalinina D, Lyakhovetskii V et al. Rapid prototyping of soft bioelectronic implants for use as neuromuscular interfaces. Nat. Biomed. Eng. doi:10.1038/s41551-020-00615-7 (2020) (Epub ahead of print); www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/neural-interfaces-implants-latest-developments-research-prototypes-medicine-treatments-1.912651