A Spanish startup, specializing in brain implants made of graphene, believes that its chip can outperform Neuralink, which is the latest hype in the brain implant market. Recently, a demo video of a monkey playing Pong with the help of Neuralink took the internet by storm. However, Inbrain believes that their implant not just outperforms Neuralink in terms of performance, but also longevity.
One of the co-founders and CEO of Inbrain, Carolina Aguilar, told Sifted how Inbrain’s chips may be better than Neuralink. This advancement over Musk’s chip is being credited to Inbrain’s use of graphene, the thinnest material known to mankind.
Inbrain And Neuralink Compared
Aguilar told Sifted that a brain interface needs to “record brain signals, stimulate them and then be stable for many, many years in the brain.” While Neuralink does the first two just fine, Inbrain says the Neuralink implant may not last that long.
Aguilar says that Musk is using Pedot, a polymer as the primary material for Neuralink. She says that it degrades inside the brain over time, making it a bad choice for a brain implant.
Inbrain, on the other hand, specializes in graphene. It is just one atom thick, and also among the strongest materials ever tested. That said, the company clearly says that a graphene brain implant will last longer than the Pedot made Neuralink.
Certain forms of graphene can be toxic if used for the implant. So after 8 years of research, Inbrain has patented the graphene that’s supposed to be made into a brain implant. Aguilar stressed that if Musk wants to use graphene for Neuralink, he’ll have to acquire Inbrain.
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The company recently secured $17 million which will fund the graphene implant’s first human trial. It has already been tested on sheep brains and the company plans to put it to use in humans to treat Parkinson’s disease.
So if we look at it from an Inbrain vs Neuralink perspective, both chips are looking at their first human trial this year. However, with a graphene chip, Inbrain may have a longer-lasting implant than Musk’s Neuralink.
We made a list of questions that Neuralink needs to answer. The same questions apply to every other brain implant that may be made available to the masses in the coming years.