With a new award from the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN initiative, Brown University and its collaborators will advance the technology of wireless brain interfaces for future human use.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and collaborators at Stanford University, Case Western Reserve University, and Cirtec Medical Systems Inc. have received a BRAIN Initiative award from the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke to support their research on “High-Bandwidth Wireless Interfaces for Continuous Human Intracortical Recording.”

The three-year, $5.7-million grant will support completion of the final design, manufacturing, regulatory review, and initial clinical testing of a fully implanted system for chronically recording neuronal activity from the human brain. Support for an additional two years is anticipated through a linked grant for continued clinical testing if there is good progress during the first three years.

Dr. Leigh Hochberg and Arto Nurmikko, professors of engineering at Brown and members of the Brown Institute for Brain Science, will co-lead the project.

“This award will give our multidisciplinary team the resources to complete the first human-ready version of a powerful new platform technology for electronically interfacing the human nervous system,” said Nurmikko, whose laboratory developed the technology.

Hochberg, who is also a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, director of the VA Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology in Providence, and director of the BrainGate pilot clinical trials, added, “A critical step in the evolution of potentially clinically useful, intracortically based brain-computer interfaces will be the testing of high channel count, high bandwidth, fully implanted recording systems. Our team is honored to have the opportunity to pursue this important research.”