Recent scientific advances in the area of prosthetic devices have significantly improved the prospects of people who have lost their limbs due to trauma or vascular disease. These advanced prosthetic devices are currently controlled with mechanical switches; however, we believe that once perfected, implanted neural interfaces such as BrainGate™ will provide a more natural control of these devices. Using brain signals to control movement should enable more real-time responses and allow for more complex use of these artificial limbs. At BrainGate™, we envision a technology that bridges the gap between the brain and the limb.
In addition, there is the opportunity to reconnect the brain to a person’s existing limb. Spinal cord injury may have disconnected the motor cortex signals from the limb. However, if the patient still has the ability to “think” about movement, BrainGate™ has the potential to interpret and re-connect those signals, thus allowing the patient to move those limbs simply by thinking about it.