This is a trial at the Royal Melbourne and Bethlehem hospitals to help them communicate again, as a mind-reading, using a new technology known as Stentrode, which was created by Associate Professor Thomas Oxley. The prototype was not tested in humans until now.The procedure does not require open brain surgery. The implant, a self-expanding electrode stent, will be placed inside a blood vessel of the brain’s motor cortex, which controls movement. Professor Peter Mitchell says the technology will benefit people who can’t speak, are locked in their bodies and have almost no physical function. A brain-to-computer interface will be used.
The device could give patients the ability to control a mouse or keyboard. Professor Mitchell said he hopes the device will eventually be able to control a wheelchair or prosthetic limb. “It’s an enormous advance for Australia and it’s an absolute credit to the team that’s behind it to bring it this far,” Mitchell said. “This research may help us find safer and more effective ways to introduce electrical sensors to patients,” Professor Thomas Oxley appreciated. The Royal Melbourne Hospital has been granted ethics approval for the project.