The Food and Drug Administration of the United States has given Neuralink, a tech business that Elon Musk helped co-found, permission to test its brain implant on humans.
On Thursday, the corporation made this known in a statement released on its official Twitter account.
The tweet stated, “We are thrilled to announce that we have received FDA approval to begin our first-in-human clinical study.” This signifies a crucial first step that will one day enable our technology to help many people and is the product of amazing work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA.
On Friday, Musk tweeted his own response to the article, writing, “Congratulations to the Neuralink team.”
The implants are designed to enable direct human-to-computer communication.
Musk had earlier touted the product as a possible solution for persons living with disabilities, as it could help restore vision and movement. He made headlines late last year after stating that he trusted the device enough to implant them in his children.
Already, the coin-sized implants have been tested on monkeys and pigs.
Neuralink demonstrated six monkeys utilizing Neuralink chips implanted in their brains moving a cursor on a computer screen or playing simple video games during a company presentation in December of last year, according to CBS News.
We would initially allow someone who has absolutely no ability to use their muscles and enable them to handle their phone faster than someone who has working hands, according to Elon Musk, who also spoke at the event.
We are certain that it is possible to restore full physical functionality to someone who has had their spinal cord severed, no matter how miraculous it may sound.
Employees claimed to Reuters in March that the corporation had previously applied for FDA permission in 2022 but had been denied.
The regulator cited several concerns including the safety of lithium battery powering the device, possibility of the chip’s wires migrating within the brain, and the challenge of safely removing the device without damage to the brain.
Neuralink is currently under several federal investigations including an inquiry by the US Department of Agriculture, into potential animal-welfare violations during the animal tests conducted by the company.