Russian scientists have created implants for the brain, with which you can activate the human senses

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Russian scientists have created implants for the brain, with which you can activate the human senses. The technology is being jointly developed by the Deaf-Blind Support Fund “Connection” and the non-profit laboratory “Sensor-tech”. The creation of three neuroimplants was publicly announced for the first time at SPIEF-2022.

The Elvis line of neuroimplants will restore sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, as well as correct serious brain and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain syndromes.

The Elvis system is able to influence different areas of the brain, causing certain sensory sensations in a person. The line of neuroimplants is created in Russia for the first time. It includes a hearing restoration implant (Elvis C), an implant for the treatment of neurological disorders (Elvis DBS) and an implant for restoring sight to the blind (Elvis V).

The Elvis C hearing restoration neuroimplant allows you to transmit sounds from a microphone directly to the cochlea of ​​the inner ear, where the nerve endings are located. As a result, the patient receives electronic hearing.

The Elvis C cochlear implant consists of two parts: the first is worn by the patient on the ear, it is called the speech processor. The second part is implanted under the skin, and a thin string of electrodes through the skull penetrates directly into the cochlea of ​​the inner ear and stimulates the nerve endings, which then transmit a signal to the brain.

Elvis C is the first cochlear implant in Russia, since at the moment only implants of foreign manufacturers (Australia, USA, China) are placed in patients.

Neuroimplant for the correction of neurological diseases Elvis DBS will help people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain syndromes, tremors, Tourette’s syndrome and other neurological disorders.

The system consists of two parts – special electrodes are inserted into the subcortical structures of the brain and connected to a neurostimulator in the patient’s chest. At the same time, the neurostimulator is programmed for each patient by a doctor and allows you to set the parameters of brain stimulation depending on the disease.

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The Elvis DBS implant will have 13 electrodes that will stimulate brain cells in 360 mode, so that the neurosurgeon has more options for choosing a stimulation strategy for each patient. The device will allow sending data about a person’s condition remotely, which will improve the quality and effectiveness of treatment.

In Russia, at least 300 brain surgeries per year are performed using DBS neuroimplants, with systems mainly purchased from the United States. Until that moment, there were no Russian DBS implants in the country.

The implant for the restoration of vision for the blind Elvis V allows you to “connect” cameras to the brain and transmit the image to it directly, without the help of the eyes. This process is provided by three blocks of the system: an implant that is installed in the brain (in the visual cortex, the area responsible for vision) and stimulates it with small currents. Thanks to this, a person begins to experience visual sensations and sees flashes of light; hoop with two chambers. The user wears it on the head, and the cameras read the image in real time, performing the “eye function”; the microcomputer analyzes the image from the cameras, highlights the contours of important objects and transmits the processed frames directly to the implant in the brain. The microcomputer is attached to the user’s belt. The technology has received two patents in Russia.

“The vision implant is already in the final stage of animal testing, in January of this year we installed Elvis V in a monkey, the tests were successful. In 2024, the first blind volunteers will receive electronic vision. We expect that the operation to install Elvis V will become widely available in Russia in 2027. In the future, it will be possible to place neuroimplants for vision and hearing at the same time for one patient, this will help even completely deaf-blind people, they will be able to get out of the world of complete darkness and silence.” , – said Natalia SokolovaExecutive Director of the Foundation for the Support of the Deaf and Blind “Connection”.

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“Elvis neuroimplants will allow patients to receive electronic hearing and vision or help with the most complex neurological diseases. Now there is such a situation that many thousands of disabled people may be left without the medical care they need. All manufacturers of neuroimplants are foreign companies. For us, work on the Elvis line is not only an ambitious scientific and technological task, probably the main thing here is to prevent a situation where patients with very complex diseases will not be able to receive medical devices and will not be able to live a full life,” said Denis Kuleshovhead of the Elvis project, director of the Sensor-tech laboratory.

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