What is a Brain Chip? How it is implanted?

Neuralink Brain Chip
Neuralink Brain Chip

- Raghavan.S, Std IX B

For many years, the Brain Chip has been an integral component in science fiction. They are frequently shown as futuristic tools that can improve cognitive function or even communicate with computers directly. This idea first appeared in science fiction books, when writers imagined a time where people would be able to add cutting-edge technology to their brains.

But this idea is not a fiction now. Neuralink Corp., founded by Elon Musk, develops implantable brain-computer interfaces. The company hired several high profile neuroscientists and has significant funding.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Neuralink Corporation:

Neuralink is a brain interface technology firm. It is about developing technology that might be implanted inside a person's brain, where it could record and maybe even stimulate brain activity. There are also many immediate medical uses for it, like the treatment of Parkinson's disease which doesn’t have a cure.

Neuralink declared in April 2017 that its ultimate objective of human improvement, commonly known as transhumanism, was to create devices to treat severe brain illnesses in the near future such as Autism, and schizophrenia.

Right now, Neuralink is taking steps to provide thought control over computers and mobile devices for individuals who are quadriplegic (have paralysis over all four limbs).

Brain-Computer Interface:

In the pursuit of merging technology with human cognition, Neuralink has developed a groundbreaking brain-computer interface (BCI) system, highlighted by the innovative Neuralink Chip. This implantable device, as described by Neuralink, is a marvel of biotechnology, designed to seamlessly integrate with the human body while offering unprecedented control over computers and mobile devices.

How is the Brain Chip implanted?

The Neuralink implant is sealed carefully inside a biocompatible enclosure designed to withstand conditions that are much harsher than what the human body typically encounters. The N1 Implant is powered by a small battery that is charged wirelessly from the outside using a compact, inductive charger, allowing for convenient use from anywhere. This sealed chip houses advanced, custom low-power chips and electronics, capable of processing neural signals with remarkable efficiency.

The chip is about the size of a coin which is to be embedded into the patient’s skull. A network of tiny wires, each about 20 times thinner than a human hair, emerges from the chip and enters the patient's brain. The wires contain 1,024 electrodes that can monitor brain activity and, ideally, electrically stimulate the brain. This data then can be seamlessly transmitted to the computers to be further studied by researchers.

Implantation of the Neuralink Chip is a delicate procedure facilitated by a sophisticated surgical robot. This robot, equipped with precise motion control and imaging systems, ensures the seamless insertion of the chip's ultra-fine wires into the brain tissue. The robot's needle, finer than a human hair, delicately navigates through the brain, guided by a suite of optical and sensor technologies embedded within its structure.

Possibilities of a Brain Chip:

In 2020, the company demonstrated the functionality of one of its chips with a live demonstration in a pig named Gertrude. This presentation provided proof of concept, demonstrating the chip's capacity to precisely predict Gertrude's limb motions as she walked on a treadmill. Furthermore, it revealed the chip's capacity to capture brain activity while Gertrude sought for food. Elon Musk said at Neuralink's 2019 presentation that they have successfully implanted a chip in a monkey. Musk enthusiastically stated that the monkey has been living with the wireless implant in its skull for two months, allowing it to play video games with its thoughts.

After being rejected several times for human testing, a chip was finally implanted on a human on March 20, 2024. Neuralink introduced Noland Arbaugh, the first person in their clinical trial to receive an implant. He was a former athlete who turned into a quadriplegic after a diving accident. He showcased using the implant to control a computer cursor, play games, and improve his quality of life. Arbaugh believes in the device's potential despite its current imperfections.


Neuralink Corporation's Brain Chip, once a science fiction concept, is now a reality with potential applications in medical treatments and human capabilities.

However, risks include chip hacking, privacy concerns, data misuse, infection, bleeding, and potential addiction or dependency issues.

Other Articles

No stories found.
Kalki Online