DARPA-funded nonsurgical neurotechnologies push the frontier of brain-machine interfaces

Cred­it: J Robin­son and Rice University

Rice Uni­ver­si­ty Charges Into the Future with Mag­net­ics and Bioim­plants (All About Circuits):

Advances in self-gen­er­at­ing drug deliv­ery sys­tems, brain-to-brain com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and injury mit­i­ga­tion tech­nolo­gies are just some of the newest research com­ing down the pipeline from Rice University.

Sev­er­al research projects fund­ed by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agen­cy’s (DARPA) N3 pro­gram might her­ald a future of high­ly advanced human-machine inter­fac­ing that expands the capa­bil­i­ties of sol­diers and first responders.

This arti­cle will first overview the DARPA pro­gram and the basics of these three pro­grams. Then, a look at the com­mon elec­tron­ics tech­nolo­gies that are being used in biotech­nol­o­gy at Rice Uni­ver­si­ty. Keep read­ing excel­lent arti­cle HERE, over at All About Circuits.

About DARPA’s N3 program:

Six paths to the non­sur­gi­cal future of brain-machine inter­faces (DARPA):

Back in 2019, DARPA award­ed fund­ing to six orga­ni­za­tions to sup­port the Next-Gen­er­a­tion Non­sur­gi­cal Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy (N3) pro­gram, first announced in March 2018. Bat­telle Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute, Carnegie Mel­lon Uni­ver­si­ty, Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­si­ty Applied Physics Lab­o­ra­to­ry, Palo Alto Research Cen­ter (PARC), Rice Uni­ver­si­ty, and Tele­dyne Sci­en­tif­ic were select­ed to help devel­op high-res­o­lu­tion, bidi­rec­tion­al brain-machine inter­faces for use by able-bod­ied ser­vice members.

The N3 teams are pur­su­ing a range of approach­es that use optics, acoustics, and elec­tro­mag­net­ics to record neur­al activ­i­ty and/or send sig­nals back to the brain at high speed and res­o­lu­tion. The research is split between two tracks. Teams are pur­su­ing either com­plete­ly non­in­va­sive inter­faces that are entire­ly exter­nal to the body or minute­ly inva­sive inter­face sys­tems that include nan­otrans­duc­ers that can be tem­porar­i­ly and non­sur­gi­cal­ly deliv­ered to the brain to improve sig­nal resolution.

The Rice Uni­ver­si­ty team, under prin­ci­pal inves­ti­ga­tor Dr. Jacob Robin­son, aims to devel­op a minute­ly inva­sive, bidi­rec­tion­al sys­tem for record­ing from and writ­ing to the brain. For the record­ing func­tion, the inter­face will use dif­fuse opti­cal tomog­ra­phy to infer neur­al activ­i­ty by mea­sur­ing light scat­ter­ing in neur­al tis­sue. To enable the write func­tion, the team will use a mag­ne­to-genet­ic approach to make neu­rons sen­si­tive to mag­net­ic fields.

News in Context:

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

Top Articles on Brain Health and Neuroplasticity

Top 10 Brain Teasers and Illusions


Subscribe to our e-newsletter

* indicates required

Got the book?