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Brain Electrodes That Screw On the Skin 58

Posted by timothy
from the so-skin-is-actually-useful-for-something dept.
An anonymous reader writes "New Scientist says that attaching electrodes to the skin for monitoring brain activity (for example when 'installing brain implants that can allow disabled people to control machines using their mind') is tricky, especially on a hairy scalp, so the new solution from the University of Pittsbugh is an electrode that screws into the skin: its 'teeth dig into the upper layer of skin and become fixed in place, maintaining good electrical contact.' They say that the thing 'should be pain-free.' (Note: it does not go through the skull!)"
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Brain Electrodes That Screw On the Skin

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  • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @07:43PM (#26083803)

    They say that it only needs to penetrate the very top layer of skin in order to stay in place. I've gotten painless scrapes before where I could see that the skin had been penetrated, but it was just extremely shallow. The patent application says the teeth are only 0.01" long and oriented mostly horizontally, not vertically. Someone in the comments section of TFA from Pittsburgh, where this was invented, says they've tried it an experienced "little to no discomfort". Someone else pointed out that ticks stay attached to you and most people don't even notice.

  • Re:Umm, infection? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pinckney (1098477) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @08:26PM (#26084407)
    The teeth are microscopic. The risk of infection will be no greater than for a small scrape.

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