Brain-computer Interface

The next frontier on the human-machine interface, BCI (Brain-computer Interface), involves hardware and software communication systems such as electrodes, implants, or unique headbands that allow external devices to be controlled through brain activity.
Technology Life Cycle

Technology Life Cycle


Marked by a rapid increase in technology adoption and market expansion. Innovations are refined, production costs decrease, and the technology gains widespread acceptance and use.

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Lab Environment

Experimental analyses are no longer required as multiple component pieces are tested and validated altogether in a lab environment.

Technology Diffusion

Technology Diffusion

Early Adopters

Embrace new technologies soon after Innovators. They often have significant influence within their social circles and help validate the practicality of innovations.

Brain-computer Interface

Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems are a fast-growing technology involving hardware and software communication systems that control external devices through brain activity. It uses signals recorded from the brain to enable communication and control applications for individuals who have impaired function, for instance. One may say that the internet itself is already a platform based on brain-computer interfaces to harvest collective knowledge and make it accessible, but it still has to be encoded into natural language and programmed into a specific audio/visual media.

The implementation would consider two types of different segments: needle electrodes and surface electrodes. Both are designed to stimulate brain zones, but when in magnetic stimulation above the motor cortex, recording with a concentric needle electrode, the range and the mean would be higher when compared to surface electrode contacts, thus being more popular among physicians.

The collected information provided from this technology can spread insights about stress, concentration and other brain states that influence learning performance, while also generating insights for new approaches and methods.

Future Perspectives

Currently, the most precise brain-computer interfaces require a set of wires to be inserted into the specific areas of interest of the brain. Non-invasive techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) have low specificity in comparison and usually require a high blast of energy that mostly dissipates in the scalp. Controllable, injectable, magnetoelectric nanoparticles (MENs) are another solution for non-invasive, remote brain stimulation. They can be injected into the bloodstream and a certain percentage will reach the brain. The neurons with those particles will generate electric fields (they will fire) in response to a magnetic field that is much smaller than normal TMS.

Also, particles carrying drugs can be engineered to seek out certain tissues and release the chemical(s) only when the magnetic field is applied. Techniques to more precisely control drug release are paramount for the development of better healthcare. In the case of brain-computer interfaces, it also opens up the possibility of reaching neurons in the innermost parts of the brain more efficiently in order to have more complete interactions between neurons and the machine.

Image generated by Envisioning using Midjourney

Two patients who had been paralyzed by spinal cord injuries were able to use the brain-computer interface to control a computer cursor in their homes.
Conceived and designed the experiments: DGZ. Performed the experiments: GYL. Analyzed the data: GYL. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: DGZ GYL. Wrote the paper: DGZ GYL.
Brain-machine interfaces could bring tremendous benefit to humanity. But to enjoy the benefits, we’ll need to manage the risks down to an acceptable level.

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