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Microscale wireless neural sensors enable a next-generation brain-computer interface system

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Neurograins


Tiny chips called neurobeads are capable of detecting electrical activity in the brain and transmitting that data wirelessly. Credit: Jihun Lee / Brown University

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are new assistive devices that may one day help people with brain or spinal cord injuries move or communicate. BCI systems rely on implantable sensors to record electrical signals in the brain and use those signals to control external devices such as computers or robotic prostheses.

Most modern BCI systems use one or two sensors to select up to several hundred neurons, but neuroscientists are interested in systems that can collect data from much larger groups of brain cells.

The team has now taken a key step towards a new concept for a future BCI system – one that uses a coordinated network of micro-scale independent wireless neural sensors, each the size of a grain of salt, to record and stimulate the brain. activity. The sensors, called neurobeads, independently record electrical impulses produced by fired neurons and send signals wirelessly to a central hub that coordinates and processes the signals.

In a study published on August 12, 2021. Nature Electronics, the research team has demonstrated the use of nearly 50 of these autonomous neurobeads to record neural activity in rodents.

The findings are a step towards creating a system that could one day record brain signals in unprecedented detail, the researchers said, leading to new understanding of how the brain works and new treatments for people with brain or spinal cord injuries.

“One of the big challenges in brain-computer interfaces is developing ways to explore as many points in the brain as possible,” said Arto Nurmicko, professor at Brown’s School of Engineering and senior author of the study. “Until now, most BCIs have been monolithic devices – sort of like little needle beds. Our team’s idea was to break this monolith into tiny sensors that could be distributed throughout the cerebral cortex. This is what we were able to demonstrate here. “

The team, which includes experts from Brown, Baylor University, UC San Diego and Qualcomm, began developing the system about four years ago. The problem was twofold, said Nurmikko, who is affiliated with the Carney Brown Institute for Brain Research. The first part required reducing the complex electronics involved in detecting, amplifying, and transmitting neural signals into tiny silicon neurograin chips. The team first designed and modeled the electronics on a computer and went through several manufacturing iterations to develop working chips.

The second challenge was to design a body-to-body communication node that receives signals from these tiny microcircuits. The device is a thin patch, the size of a thumbprint, that is attached to the scalp outside of the skull. It works like a miniature cell phone tower, using a network protocol to coordinate signals from neurobeads, each with its own network address. The patch also provides wireless power to the neural beads, which are designed to operate with minimal power consumption.

“This work was a truly interdisciplinary challenge,” said Jihun Li, Brown’s research fellow and lead author of the study. “We had to combine expertise in electromagnetism, RF communications, circuit design, fabrication, and neuroscience to develop and operate a neurogranular system.”

The goal of this new study was to demonstrate that the system can record neural signals from a living brain – in this case, a rodent’s brain. The team placed 48 neuroserenes in the animal’s cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of the brain, and successfully recorded characteristic neural signals associated with spontaneous brain activity.

The team also tested the devices’ ability to stimulate the brain as well as write data from it. The stimulation is carried out by tiny electrical impulses that can activate neural activity. The researchers hope that the stimulation is controlled by the same center that coordinates neural recording and may one day restore brain function lost due to illness or injury.

The animal’s brain size limited the team to 48 neurogranules for this study, but the data suggests the current system configuration can support up to 770. Ultimately, the team envisions scaling to many thousands of neurogenerins, providing a currently unattainable picture of brain activity.

“It was not an easy undertaking as the system requires simultaneous wireless power transmission and network operation at megabits per second, and this must be done in an extremely tight silicon region and power constraints,” said Vincent Lyng, associate. Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor. “Our team has pushed the boundaries for distributed neural implants.”

There is still a lot of work to be done to make this complete system a reality, but the researchers said this study represents a key step in that direction.

“We hope that eventually we can develop a system that will provide new scientific knowledge about the brain and new therapies that can help people affected by devastating trauma,” Nurmikko said.

Reference: “Neural Recording and Stimulation Using Wireless Microimplant Networks” Jihun Lee, Vincent Leung, Ah-Hyun Lee, Jiangnan Huang, Peter Asbeck, Patrick P. Mercier, Stephen Schellhammer, Lawrence Larson, Farah Lyvalla and Arto Nurmikko, August 12, 2021 G., Nature Electronics
DOI: 10.1038 / s41928-021-00631-8

Other co-authors of the study were Ah-Hyun Lee (Brown), Jiangnan Huang (UCSD), Peter Asbeck (UCSD), Patrick P. Mercier (UCSD), Stephen Schellhammer (Qualcomm), Lawrence Larson (Brown), and Pharah Lyvalla. (Brown). The study was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (N66001-17-C-4013).





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Anti-vaccinators use Instagram Stories and link stickers to spread misinformation

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Anti-vaccinators use Instagram Stories and link stickers to spread misinformation


How do anti-vaccinators fund their dangerous movement with so many online platforms that ban false information against vaccinations?

According to a new report, Instagram Stories is one of the main outlets Media issues.

The report found “dozens of examples of users” who have armed Facebook’s Stories feature to sell products, promote events and even redirect Instagram users to alternative social media platforms, where they can’t be banned.

This is a special feature that the Media Matters report focuses on.link stickers”it spread to all users of Instagram late last year.

Link stickers allow users to add a link to a third party website to the Stories content. For years, Instagram has avoided allowing off-platform links, except for one link that allows users to add to their profile page. Link stickers eventually gave users this feature, as well as gave antivaxers a way to profit from their accounts.

On Instagram Terms of serviceThe platform will remove the ability to publish account stickers if they “repeatedly share things like hate speech and misinformation or other content that violates our Community Rules”.

However, because Instagram events are ephemeral, they disappear after 24 hours, and antivaxists, conspiracy theorists, and malicious users can spread malicious misinformation and links to their followers.

In addition, some anti-vaccinators who use these methods on Instagram are using backup accounts, which can only be temporary. Suspension, removal of features, or other penalties for violating Instagram policies may work with most bona fide users, but antivaxers do not work in good faith. Many are using the accounts created to avoid the ban, disseminate misinformation against vaccinations through Instagram Stories, and link the stickers as quickly as possible until the last Instagram account is closed.

Instagram has been battling antivaxes on its platform for many years. The company has taken some measures against misinformation about the vaccine, such as banning hashtags related to antivax, good nose even the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, Instagram continues to provide the most productive stuff anti-vaxxer agents in motion with the platform. The Instagram Stories and link stickers feature provides a lifeline for these users, even though Instagram has banned their main accounts.

The stories and link stickers used to spread misinformation about the vaccine are another example of how antivaxers use all the tools at their disposal to tell the story they want to tell, despite the truth.

UPDATE: January 27, 2022, 3:00 p.m. EST An Instagram spokeswoman told Mashable that the company had taken action against two prominent anti-waxes on its platform: Joseph Mercola and Sherry Tenpenny, both of whom were named in the Media Matters report. The full Instagram post is below: “We do not allow people to share posts or links that block vaccines or share incorrect information about COVID-19. We removed @ drtpenny_official for violating our rules, removed two posts from @ drmercola and hacked the #plandemic hash.”





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Thanks for attending the 2022 Mobile World Congress

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(Source: Honorary)

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Chinese smartphone maker Honor Announced on Thursday, February 28, 2022 that it will again participate in the Mobile World Congress.

As the most influential exhibition in the field of mobile communications in the world, the 2022 Mobile World Congress (MWC2022) will be held from February 28 to March 3 in Barcelona, ​​Spain. A number of other major Chinese smartphone companies, including Huawei and XiaomiOnePlus, realme and OPPO have all confirmed their presence.

In addition, the Honor product launch is scheduled for February 28. According to the posters, new products from its Magic series will be released and internet users will think that it will be the Honor Magic4 series.

Previous models in this series include: Magic3, Magic3 Pro, Magic3 Pro + and Magic V. The Magic3 series is equipped with a Snapdragon 888 Plus processor, a multi-camera with a ring and an 89 ° hyper-surface screen.

The Honor Magic V is the company’s first foldable-screen smartphone equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, priced at 9,999 yuan ($ 1,571).

SEE ALSO: Honor Magic V: The first foldable smartphone to be equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1



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Zhipu Technologies finances A and A + rounds

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(Source: Zhipu Technologies)

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Recently reported by Zhipu Technologies it secured several hundred million yuan in Round A and Round A + financing agreements. Round A was invested only by Chengwei Capital, while Round A was led by GL Ventures and then occupied by Chengwei Capital. These two rounds of funding will be used for future product research and market development in the spectrum industry.

Founded in 2018, Zhipu Technologies is a company focused on spectral vision. The company relies on state-of-the-art intelligent spectral imaging equipment and spectral vision analysis systems to help end users overcome previously impossible obstacles.

Today, the company’s spectral imaging products and services are successfully implemented in safety production and environmental protection, involving dozens of large enterprises and large parks. The team led the development of an industrial application standard issued by the China Chemical Safety Association and helped establish an early warning spectral video measurement and control mechanism.

The company’s founding team is from Nanjing University and Tsinghua University. Cao Xun, the company’s founder, has dedicated himself to computer photography for many years, and the first theoretical achievements of the PMVIS spectral video have been published in the most influential journals and conferences in the country and abroad.

SEE: WITINMEM chip company completes $ 32 million round B1 financing

Zhang Jian, the company’s founder and current CEO, said the company has also made progress in miniature spectral camera technology with the idea of ​​laying the foundations for consumer-class production, research, education, medical health and public safety.



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