VOL. 120 | NO. 2 BREAK THROUGH TECHNOLOGIES
“Go, go!” was the thought racing through Grégoire Courtine’s mind. The French neuro- scientist was watching a
macaque monkey as it hunched aggres-
sively at one end of a treadmill. His team
had used a blade to slice halfway through
the animal’s spinal cord, paralyzing its
right leg. Now Courtine wanted to prove
he could get the monkey walking again.
To do it, he and colleagues had installed a
recording device beneath its skull, touch-
ing its motor cortex, and sutured a pad
of flexible electrodes around the animal’s
spinal cord, below the injury. A wire-
Scientists are making remarkable
progress at using brain implants to
restore the freedom of movement
that spinal cord injuries take away.
to bypass damage to
the nervous system.
WH Y IT MATTERS
Thousands of people
injuries every year.
KE Y PLAYERS
- École Polytechnique
Fédérale de Lausanne
- Wyss Center for Bio and
- University of Pittsburgh
- Case Western Reserve
10 to 15 years