23-year-old Ian Burkhart from Dublin Ohio became the first quadriplegic to move his hand with his own thoughts after a ground-breaking surgery at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Surgeons inserted a neuro-prosthesis into Burkhart’s motor cortex. Burkhart was the first to receive the implant of what surgeons are calling the “Neurobridge,” an electronic neural bypass for spinal cord injuries that reconnects the brain directly to muscles, allowing voluntary and functional control of a paralyzed limb.
“It’s much like a heart bypass, but instead of bypassing blood, we’re actually bypassing electrical signals,” said Chad Bouton, research leader at Battelle. “We’re taking those signals from the brain, going around the injury, and actually going directly to the muscles.”
According to Wexner Medical Center the Neurobridge technology combines algorithms that learn and decode the user’s brain activity and a high-definition muscle stimulation sleeve that translates neural impulses from the brain and transmits new signals to the paralyzed limb.