A young American paralysed in a swimming accident has become the first patient to move his hand using the power of thought after doctors inserted a microchip into his brain.
Ian Burkhart was able to open and close his fist and even pick up a spoon during the first test of the chip, giving hope to millions of accident victims and stroke sufferers of a new bionic era of movement through thought.
Onlookers described the moment he was able to move by the sheer force of concentration as like watching “science fiction come true”.
Doctors at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center worked with engineers from Battelle, a non-profit research centre, which had created “Neurobridge” technology, whereby a microchip reads patients’ thoughts in order to replace signals no longer transmitted by their broken bodies.
While doctors have seen some success in recent years in getting stroke victims to manoeuvre robotic arms using their thoughts, Mr Burkhart is the first to move his own body.