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Mind Control Implant: Stanford Bio-X Develops Fully Implantable Optogenetics Device


Engineers at Bio-X, Stanford University’s interdisciplinary biosciences institute, have developed a fully implantable device powered by wireless energy resonating through the test subject’s body—in this case, what were mice—which delivers optogenetic nerve stimulation.

While optogenetic nerve stimulation has been around for a short while, the new device marks the first fully implantable version. Traditionally, scientists have employed a system in which a fiber optic cable is directly attached to the brain of a mouse in order to pull off the feat. Once attached, the cable ensures the successful delivery of light directly to the genetically modified brain cell ensembles. But now, Stanford engineers have managed to ditch the cumbersome approach in favor of a peppercorn-sized device which just might have within it the potential to increase the practicality of optogenetics.

The new device was, according to a report on Medical News Today, developed by an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, Ada Poon.

Poon teamed up with a research associate, Yuji Tanabe, in order to create the chamber used to amplify and store the radio frequency energy resonated through the body of a mouse. The pair initially concocted an open chamber which was eventually adapted to include a honeycomb grid on top of the chamber — a design which allows the energy to remain contained within the chamber instead of radiating in every direction.

The newly created device builds upon prior research in which scientists successfully used lasers to control the brain of a mouse.

What are your thoughts on this new wireless mind-control implant the size of a peppercorn?

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