Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain implant company, has been in development for years and aims to help spinal cord injury patients in 2022.
Five things to know:
1. The Neuralink device consists of threads inserted into areas of the brain controlling movement, according to the company's website. It is a sealed device that processes, stimulates and transmits neural signals. The implant is charged wirelessly from the outside.
2. Neuralink has been tested successfully on a pig and monkey in 2020 and 2021, respectively. In the pig, the device showed the animal's brain activity, CNET reported. In the monkey, the implant allowed it to play Pong, CNBC reported.
3. In a Dec. 6 interview, Mr. Musk told The Wall Street Journal that Neuralink plans to use the implant in human patients in 2022, pending FDA approval to begin clinical trials. The first applications are expected to be for spinal cord injury patients.
4. Neuralink is not the only brain implant company. Synchron received FDA approval to initiate clinical studies for its Stentrode implant in July 2021, The Hill reported. Synchron's implant is delivered to the brain through blood vessels and might help patients with severe paralysis.
5. Neuralink has caught interest from investors. In August, the company raised $205 million in series C funding.
Editor's note: This article was updated Jan. 14 at 12:50 p.m. CT.