Engineering Better Interface Between Brain and Machine

Whether controlling movement of a prosthetic limb or the curser on a computer monitor, neural implants show great promise -- at first. However, their widespread use of the technology is hampered by a lack of reliability over time. Clear evidence of the reasons for the failures remains elusive.

Now, a research team led by a group of biomedical engineers at Georgia Tech and Emory University are seeking to improve brain-machine interface by irrefutably identifying why current methods fail.

DARPA has funded $4.5 million for three years to support the multi-disciplinary team as they seek reasons for the failure of neural implants. 

The research team includes: Georgia Tech Professor and Principal Investigator Ravi Bellamkonda, Associate Professors Garrett Stanley and Niren Murthy from the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University; Senior Vice Provost for Research and Innovation Mark Allen and Professor Rob Butera from Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Senior Research Engineer Judson Ready from the Georgia Tech Research Institute; Associate Professor of Pathology Themis Kyriakides from Yale University and Associate Professor of Bioengineering Tracy Cui from University of Pittsburgh.

“This research is a great match between our desire to develop new, innovative ways to interface technology to the human nervous system, and DARPA’s desire to overcome the scientific hurdles that are thwarting the development of the next generation of neuro-controlled prosthetic devices,” Bellamkonda said. 

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