Australian scientists offer new hope for paraplegics

SYDNEY – Australian researchers have created a “bionic spinal cord” they said Tuesday could give paralyzed people hope of walking again through the power of thought, without resorting to open brain surgery. The system would use a device the size of a paperclip implanted in a blood vessel next to the brain. The stent-based electrode would record the brain activity needed for movement and this would be translated into commands to control wheelchairs, exoskeletons, prosthetic limbs or computers. “We have been able to create the world’s only minimally invasive device that is implanted into a blood vessel in the brain via a simple day procedure, avoiding the need for high risk open brain surgery,” researcher Thomas Oxley said. Oxley, a neurologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and research fellow at…

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