Micro-needle Brain Implant

Close up of a micro needle array

The Problem

The goal of brain control has been limited to reading vague signals from an Electroencephalogram (EEG). It is difficult to get useful information about a patient’s intentions from these weak signals. The goal of this project was to produce an implant that could read information from the brain at the neuron level.

The Solutions

Working with a team of superb engineers and scientists at the MIT BioInstrumentation Laboratory, we developed a micro-needle array, consisting of 64 individual needles. Each needle is approximately 80um square and 1mm in length. The needles are used to assess neural activity by measuring electrical signals of individual neurons. This technology has the potential to help cure many injuries, including paralysis. A patent has been issued for this device. The array was created using the latest fabrication techniques, such as Wire EDM, to machine the needles and laser cut flex circuits to transfer the information.

micro-needle array in comparison to a penny

Patent

Patent 7,212,851

Resources
This project was lead by Dr. Sylvain Martel. of Polytechnique Montréal formally from MIT BioInstrumentation Laboratory