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Bionic implants

This image of a bionic implant sitting on a US cent is something that we are working on with other researchers here at the University of Utah. Bradley Greger at the University is heading up this project and our lab is optimistic that we can help with some novel ways of exploring new science that will come out of this. Graduate students Scott Lauritzen and Rebecca Parker are working on this project as it develops, but that is all I want to say about that for now.

What I can tell you about more specifically is this device seen in these images is called the Utah Electrode Array (WARNING: potentially graphic image below of an implant in a human brain). The Utah Electrode Array is a brain implant technology developed here at the University of Utah by Richard Normann. The purpose of this device, built by currently built for us by Blackrock Microsystems is to transduce signals from external devices to deliver to the brain for interpretation. Alternatively, the device can record impulses generated in the brain for delivery of neural signals to external devices. Our potential interests in this approach are manifold, but real use and implementation of these devices is some years away still.


The bionic implant is shown in the above images after having been removed from the brain tissue it was implanted in. The above images were captured with a Canon 1D Mk III and a Canon EF MP-E 65mm f/2.8 macro lens mounted to a focusing rail. Multiple images were taken at various focal planes and were subsequently focus stacked to create a digitally enhanced depth of field.


Here is the implant in a human subject. The hope is that pathological or damaged portions of the nervous system can be bypassed with these devices or used to augment existing capabilities. Stay tuned for more in the future…

Content in this entry has been published in the Salt Lake City Weekly here.


Categories: Science.

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6 Responses

  1. Hi,
    I am from germany and I would like to use the pic with the open brain and shown implant (the last pic of this site) in a PDF for demonstration.
    This PDF is for helping people.
    Please can I use it for free?

    thx a lot

    greetings from germany

    Carel AhrensSeptember 6, 2010 @ 7:53 amReply
  2. Carel,

    Please send me an email at bryan.jones@m.cc.utah.edu and we can discuss your needs.

  3. Are you working on this project any further. If so I would lile to know how the project turns out. I am not a big scientist or anything like that, just a regular bystander very curious about the project. I am however willing to become a test subject for this project in time if one is still needed.

    Richard MaxeyNovember 11, 2012 @ 5:41 pmReply
    • This particular project is still under active development by Bradley Gregor. Our role on this is to define what happens to the brain tissue around the implant.



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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] to what such an implant would look like, the images included here show an existing brain implant developed by the University of Utah. It’s main purpose is to deliver signals from an external source directly into the brain for […]