5 Neuroscience Experts Weigh in on Elon Musk's Mysterious "Neural Lace" Company
Oxley came up with his stentrode as an alternative to typical electrodes that are placed directly in the brain tissue. Those standard electrodes enable high-fidelity recording from individual neurons, but the stiff silicon and metal structures cause inflammation in the brain tissue, and scar tissue often forms around them over time. “The idea of moving up the blood vessel is that you avoid any direct penetration of the brain tissue,” Oxley says, and thus avoid damaging it. In Oxley’s system, a catheter is snaked up a vein to deliver the stentrode to one of the tiny blood vessels that nourishes the neurons. From there, they can’t record neurons’ activity directly, but Oxley says the “different type of signal” can be deciphered with the right kind of signal processing.