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A digital spinal cord that streams your thoughts | Thomas Oxley | TEDxSydney Video Preview

A digital spinal cord that streams your thoughts | Thomas Oxley | TEDxSydney

In what could be the first direct link between AI and the human brain, interventional neurologist Thomas Oxley reveals the world's first minimally invasive digital spinal cord. He shares the exciting story behind the ongoing development of this unique wireless device that can interpret signals from the brain for patients with paralysis without the need for open brain surgery or direct contact with brain tissue. Endovascular neurologist Thomas Oxley's 2016 research demonstrated the potential for a neural recording device to be engineered onto a stent and implanted into a blood vessel in the brain, without the need for open brain surgery. This research has progressively attracted investment, with completion of a Series A fundraiser in 2017. His company's technology, the StentrodeTM, currently under FDA review, is planned for a first in human trial. Patients with tetraplegia due to spinal cord injury, stroke and ALS will be recruited into a trial of direct brain control over a suite of assistive technologies
Translating Brain Signals Video Preview

Translating Brain Signals

In this video produced by Monash Tech School, Synchron’s associate director of R&D discusses the StentrodeTM's research and development process and shares how the device works and who it is intended to benefit.
Synchron Stentrode: Brain Computer Interface for Paralysis Video Preview

Synchron Stentrode: Brain Computer Interface for Paralysis

The latest vision for the StentrodeTM Brain-Computer-Interface system. StentrodeTM can record brain signals from within a blood vessel. These thoughts are captured, passed wirelessly through the skin and decoded to enable control of a variety of assistive technology.
Barack Obama on the Stentrode Device Video Preview

Barack Obama on the Stentrode Device

US President Barack Obama talks about the technology that has the potential to transform the lives of people with disabilities.
Moving with the Power of Thought Video Preview

Moving with the Power of Thought

A device the size of a matchstick, implanted next to the brain’s motor cortex, could one day help paralyzed people move their limbs.
Scope TV: Bionic Spine Video Preview

Scope TV: Bionic Spine

With the possibility of life ruining spinal cord injuries, Scope TV explores the progressive steps the bionic spine is achieving, to one day, get paralyzed patients back on their feet.
Stentrode in Action Video Preview

Stentrode in Action

The Stentrode can record brain signals from within a blood vessel. These thoughts are captured, decoded and passed wirelessly through the skin to enable control of an external device, such as a prosthetic limb.
Thomas Oxley on the Stentrode™ Video Preview

Thomas Oxley on the Stentrode™

Dr Thomas Oxley is the brainchild behind the stentrode device. The stentrode can record brain signals from within a blood vessel. These thoughts are captured, decoded and passed wirelessly through the skin to enable control of an external device, such as a prosthetic limb.

Media Articles

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on efforts to spur development of innovative devices, including new advancements in novel brain implants, that can help patients with paralysis or amputation gain mobility. Continue Reading
Discover how bodily augmentation has grown from rudimentary static add-on limbs to advanced medical technology that is making the impossible possible - helping paraplegic people walk again. Continue Reading
The proof-of-concept discovery is the first time this kind of brain stimulation has been achieved using a device permanently implanted inside a blood vessel, instead of through invasive direct brain stimulation. Continue Reading
Synchron CEO, Dr Thomas Oxley, is the 2018 Advance Life Sciences Award Winner. The Advance Awards celebrate international Australians who exhibit remarkable talent, exceptional vision and ambition. The Awards are the only of their kind to recognise the contributions of the one million Australians living abroad, and those who have returned home. Continue Reading
...It is a master prosthesis that, without any brain surgery, will hopefully help people to control their other prosthetics with their minds alone... Continue Reading

The Economist

January 4, 2018

...from a firm called SmartStent, using technology partly developed with the University of Melbourne, is to use a stent-like device called a “stentrode” that is studded with electrodes... Continue Reading


November 22, 2017

It’s part of a growing field of robotics for human augmentation, which the McKinsey Global Institute predicted in 2013 could assist more than 50 million people with impaired mobility in the developed world, and yield economic benefits of as much as $2 trillion a year by 2025.... Continue Reading

Healthcare Digital

November 2, 2017

There is a new race in Silicon Valley involving Artificial Intelligence and no it's not HealthTech, FinTech, Voice Commerce or involve Google, Facebook or Microsoft... this race involves the brain and more specifically brain-computer interfaces. Continue Reading

CB Insights

November 1, 2017

Synchron is developing an implantable device called the Stentrode system that will allow paralyzed patients to achieve direct brain control of mobility-assistive devices. A small device passes through cerebral blood vessels to implant in the brain where it interprets electrical data emitted by neurons. Continue Reading

IEEE Pulse

September 25, 2017

The best ideas are often simple in nature, though complex in detail, and great in potential. The stentrode is a perfect example, combining the familiar off-the-shelf technologies of a stent and an electrode. Continue Reading

IEEE Pulse

September 24, 2017

Paralysis, whether caused by spinal cord injury, neurodegenerative disease, or other factors, poses a host of issues for patients. These include not just the inability to move parts of their bodies but potential problems with communication and bladder control as well. Continue Reading

August 10, 2017

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. At least, that appears to be the case, as hundreds of neurotech startups have begun popping up all over the professional ecosystem. From unique wearables to innovative software, these companies are making it easy to read your mind, save your skull, and general promote brain health throughout the world. Continue Reading


May 21, 2017

Elon Musk has hinted that his device could also use a vascular route to reach the brain, and so the Stentrode may well give us a peek into what a neural lace could look like. Continue Reading


May 19, 2017

This is where a team of researchers led by Thomas Oxley from the University of Melbourne comes in. They’ve developed a device capable of controlling exoskeletons using the human mind. The device is a metallic stent covered with electrodes. Continue Reading

New Scientist

May 17, 2017

MIND CONTROL without the side effects. That’s the aim of a device that could help people control robotic limbs using thought alone – without the need for brain surgery. The device will be trialed in people with paralysis next year. Continue Reading


April 25, 2017

The recent funding will allow Synchron to launch the first-in-human clinical trial of Stentrode's technology beginning in 2018, to be conducted in Australia with three patients. "We're taking a broader approach," said Oxley. "Our goal is to seek to have movement and communication outputs from the system." Continue Reading

IEEE Spectrum

April 12, 2017

Oxley came up with his stentrode as an alternative to typical electrodes that are placed directly in the brain tissue. Those standard electrodes enable high-fidelity recording from individual neurons, but the stiff silicon and metal structures cause inflammation in the brain tissue, and scar tissue often forms around them over time. Continue Reading

Fierce Biotech

April 4, 2017

Synchron completed a $10 million Series A round, which will bankroll a first-in-human trial of its implantable device designed to interpret signals from the brain so paralyzed patients can control robotic limbs and exoskeletons. Continue Reading


April 4, 2017

Synchron Inc - neurotechnology investors led investment round, which included funding from u.s. Department of Defense. Continue Reading


December 30, 2016

"NEW IDEAS REQUIRE new words. So if you want to know where change is happening, keep an eye on the language. That’s what author and artist Jonathon Keats has been doing in WIRED’s Jargon Watch column for more than a decade." Continue Reading

BBC News

November 13, 2016

Nicholas Opie and colleagues at the University of Melbourne and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health are developing a device called a stentrode, which is so tiny it can sit within a human blood vessel. Surgeons insert a slim, flexible stent into a blood vessel in the groin, then guide the device up through the body and into the motor cortex, the brain’s movement command centre. Continue Reading

Ars Technica

September 26, 2016

Australian neurologist Tom Oxley was on vacation in the US in November 2010 when he decided to do a bit of work. So he pitched an electrode array for reading brainwaves to the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Military Prosthetics program. Continue Reading


August 16, 2016

The Stentrode is a radically new approach in the field of "brain-machine interfaces" - technology that delivers mind-control over computers, robotic limbs or exoskeletons and gives people with paralysis the chance for more independence, all using the power of thought. Continue Reading

Ant Hill

May 7, 2016

The Stentrode is a next generation brain machine interface. It is the first neural interface that can be implanted in the brain without the need for open brain surgery. Continue Reading


April 12, 2016

Tonight President Obama will continue his weeklong stint as the guest presenter on the Science Channel. On Science Presents DNews (9pmET/PT), the POTUS will talk about new research from Australian scientists who have created a "bionic spinal cord" that could give paralyzed people the hope of walking again through the power of thought. Continue Reading

The Daily Beast

February 28, 2016

The tiny, injectable machine—the invention of neurologist Tom Oxley and his team at the University of Melbourne in Australia—could help researchers solve one of the most vexing problems with the brain modem: how to insert a transmitter into the brain without also drilling a hole in the user’s head, a risky procedure under any circumstances. Continue Reading

The Advocate

February 14, 2016

Containing 12-electrodes, the stent is like a recording device which collects the electrical activity from neurons in the patient's motor cortex before translating the activity into commands. The commands are carried via 12 wires to a transmitter implanted just under the skin on the chest. The transmitter then sends the commands wirelessly to an exoskeleton - or to a wheelchair. Continue Reading

Popular Science

February 10, 2016

In recent years, scientists have been developing new and creative ways to put electronics in the brain. These devices are useful for paralyzed patients to control prosthetic limbs with their minds, to help locked-in patients communicate with the outside world, or to help researchers better predict seizures in epileptic patients. Continue Reading


February 9, 2016

The quest to give patients with paralysis the ability to walk is on the verge of a breakthrough — and it could come in this tiny package. It's called a stent-electrode recording array, and it has been used for the last few years to treat neurological conditions, according to a paper by University of Melbourne researchers. A 39-person team from the university think it could be used to make people walk again. - Continue Reading

The Guardian

February 8, 2016

The new device, dubbed the “bionic spine”, is the size of a small paperclip and will be implanted in three patients at the Royal Melbourne hospital in Victoria next year. The participants will be selected from the Austin Health spinal cord unit, and will be the first humans to trial the device, which so far has only been tested in sheep. Continue Reading


February 8, 2016

The new development makes it easier to stick a computer chip or stentrode into a patient’s head. Instead of open-brain surgery, the method of inserting a BMI through blood vessels in the neck reduces the risk of inflaming tissue and other risks involved in such horrifying, invasive surgery. Continue Reading

Nature Biotechnology

February 8, 2016

High-fidelity intracranial electrode arrays for recording and stimulating brain activity have facilitated major advances in the treatment of neurological conditions over the past decade. Traditional arrays require direct implantation into the brain via open craniotomy, which can lead to inflammatory tissue responses... Continue Reading


February 8, 2016

A DARPA-funded research team has created a novel neural-recording device that can be implanted into the brain through blood vessels, reducing the need for invasive surgery and the risks associated with breaching the blood-brain barrier. Continue Reading

ABC Australia

February 8, 2016

Yes, it sounds like something out of a bad science fiction novel — or maybe an X-Men comic — but it's true: people with paralysis might soon be able to use mind control to walk again. It's the size of a paper clip, and it sits inside a blood vessel next to your brain. Continue Reading