Reversing Paralysis

New Brain Implant Size of Matchstick
Brain Implant
In Australia, University of Melbourne bioengineers have developed a brain implant the size of a matchstick, that may help people paralyzed walk again.  It's been successfully tested on sheep.

Stentrode
The implant is called Stentrode.  It circumvents the spinal cord and enables movement driven by the person's thoughts.  It's a tiny device containing electrodes.

DARPA and Australian Government Research Funding
The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA and the government of Australia have funded the research.  The research team hopes to test the Stentrode on 5 volunteers this fall.  

Wireless Thoughts
The system relays thoughts wirelessly to an external robotic device such as an exoskeleton or prosthetic limb.  The Stentrode enables patient directed brain control over movement and locomotion.

Human Augmentation
The Stentrode device is part of the growing field of robotics for human augmentation.  By 2025, this sector is forecast to be a $2 trillion industry.  50 million people around the world have impaired mobility and could greatly benefit.