Computer chip in brain helps paralysed man move hand

This article is more than 12 months old

In a scene out of science fiction, a quadriplegic American with a microchip in his brain used his thoughts to move his once paralysed hand.

Mr Ian Burkhart, 23, was able to wriggle his fingers and grasp a spoon thanks to the surgically implanted chip.

The 3.8mm-wide chip with 96 electrodes reads his thoughts and relays it via a cable to a computer, Mail Online reported. (Yes, there's a cable connected to his skull.)

The computer then decodes it and gives commands to a sleeve of electrodes wrapped around the arm, stimulating the muscle fibres to move, Mirror reported.

The breakthrough at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, is being heralded as the first step in the bionic age, and gives hope to million others who are disabled.

“It would really be nice to just do something as simple as open up a water bottle myself,” Mirror reported Mr Burkhart as saying.

In 2010, Mr Hart was paralysed from his chest down after diving into the sea and breaking his neck upon hitting a sandbar.

Sources: Mail Online, Mirror