When it comes to implanting material in the brain, smaller is better as small contaminants are essentially “ignored” by the body’s immune system. As such, researchers have developed a new “stealthy neural interface” made from a single carbon fiber thread only 7 micrometers wide and coated with chemicals to make it resistant to proteins in the human brain. This new microthread material is designed to pick up signals from a single neuron as it fires and is 100 times smaller than the material currently used in animal brains.
According to Technology Review:
“Researchers need long-lasting electrodes in order to improve brain-machine interfaces. These systems, in preliminary studies, have allowed paralyzed people to control robotic limbs or a computer mouse. By using electrodes to record the firing of individual brain cells, scientists have learned to decode these signals as representing the movement of a rat’s whiskers or a quadriplegic’s effort to move his arms.”