Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have the potential to restore independence for people with paralysis by translating neural activity into control signals for assistive devices such as computer cursors, robotic limbs, and functional electrical stimulation systems. Despite rapid advances in understanding and decoding movement-related neural activity, BCIs remain limited by implant technology that is now more than 40 years old. Current electrode arrays are not ideally suited to long-term recording, due to their relatively large size, low channel count and lack of integration with neural tissue. A new interface is needed to provide stable long-term recordings of thousands of neurons over many years.
NeuroRoots is a collaborative project that aims to provide the missing piece of this puzzle; a robust, implantable BCI platform with minimal damage to neural tissue, long-term recording stability, and unobtrusive footprint. This project builds on a unique approach, using ultra-flexible and low-profile implantable electronics that can reliably record the brain activity necessary to provide stable control signals for assistive technologies. Inspired by biological structures in the brain, the implant is designed to be similar size and compliance to natural tissues, providing high channel counts, stable recordings and low immune response. This project is a collaboration between physical scientists and clinicians, designed from the ground up for translation to humans. The goal is to develop this promising technology for clinical application, moving beyond new scientific insights and making a real-world impact.