Brain is considered as one among the most complex organs in Human body. It is also known as super computer which cannot be decoded by any computer in the world. It is capable of controlling almost every action of a human body. After years of experience and based of certain experiments, scientists have come up with the point that brain has certain specific areas or regions which when stimulated can alleviate the effects of disorders such as depression or Parkinson’s disease. Through it’s a piece good news, however, supervising the stimulation process is still under experimental stage and is lacking precision. Also, over stimulation may result in serious concern such as damaging certain therapeutic benefits.
In this era where there is uncertainty in health, what if our brain stop working or lose control over our body functioning?
To answer the above question, Tel Aviv University team, a part of European consortium, started a thorough research on human behaviour and its neuro-physiological aspects so as to develop a chip that can support doctors wire computer applications and sensors to the brain. This chip is capable of generating a deep brain stimulation whenever it is required. In this regard prof. Matti Mintz in his Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University, is focusing on the behavioural-physiological aspects of the research. He is working efficiently with other global teams of researchers to design a chip that could bring revolution in potential treatment therapy for some diseases of the brain within few years.
During the process of design and development of a chip, Mintz’s team continuously records the activity inside the brain by implanting electrodes in the diseased centered area of the brain. Depending on this method and statistics generated from the record, they designed algorithms that is capable of stimulating healthy neuronal activity, which is programmed into a microchip and fed back into the brain.
The chip which has been developed was named as Rehabilitation Nano Chip, is joined to a tiny electrode implanted in the brain, but going forward with the advancement in chip technology the chip become smaller in size and can be engraved onto the electrodes themselves.
Prof. Mintz said: “for therapeutic purposes, the electrodes will be incorporated into the brain as in the case of pacemakers for heart similarly the brain chip is also implanted just beneath the brain skin. He also ensured that brain is stimulated only when it is required.”
The challenges in brain chip technology is the size of the electrodes. This challenge is now been addressed Yossi Shaham, colleague and partner of Prof. Mintz. Yossi Shaham along with the team of researchers are trying to minimize the size and even trying to incorporate more sensors in electrodes.
According to Prof. Mintz, some of the movies and TV serials clearly predicted the role and working mechanism of bionic humans and have been the part of the popular culture for decades. The researchers working on ReNaChip said that their chip can help those people whose brain had been deteriorated with age or have been damaged by some injuries or diseases. The researchers also added that their Chip can not only provides bionic replacement for lost neuronal function in the brain, but also rehabilitates the brain.
At present, researchers are trying to reconstruct a motor-learning functions that are lost due to brain impairment. Prof. Mintz said: “they are trying to attach the chip to the brain so as to stimulate certain specific brain activity”. He also added that controlled treatment for drug resistant epilepsy is only a few years away.