A Battelle-led research group secured funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to continue developing a brain-computer interface concept for noninvasive clinical procedures and other military and national security applications.
Battelle said Tuesday the team will move forward to the second increment of the three-phase Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology program and mature capability sets for its magnetoelectric nanotransducer-based BCI concept.
The group will further develop and test an external brain-writing interface for the Brain System to Transmit Or Receive Magnetoelectric Signals technology, which requires the injection of localized MEnTs in neural tissue to be guided by a magnet to a targeted location in the brain.
If selected for Phase III, Battelle's team would execute a Food and Drug Administration-approved regulatory strategy for potential BrainSTORMS human trials.
“Our current data suggests that we can non-surgically introduce MEnTs into the brain for subsequent bi-directional neural interfacing,“ said Patrick Ganzer, a researcher at Battelle and BrainSTORMS principal investigator.
Battelle's partners for the BrainSTORMS effort are Cellular Nanomed, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Miami and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
In 2019, DARPA selected Battelle and 5 other teams including Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to develop concepts for the N3 program.