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004 – Gaurav Sharma
Audio, Neurotech , Neurotech Podcast , Podcasts

Garauv Sharma. Garauv won the 2016 BCI Award for real-time cortical control of functional wrist and finger movements in a human with quadriplegia. Gaurav currently works as a Senior Research Scientist at Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio. Gaurav holds the lead role on the NeuroLife Program at Battelle where they created a chip that allows patients with paralysis to perform specific movements with their own thoughts using NeuroLife’s non-invasive, high-definition neuromuscular electrical stimulation.

Top 3 Takeaways.

  • Multi-disciplinary backgrounds will help bring new ideas to traditional methods of studying the human brain.
  • Differences in functionality between the upper and lower limbs make it difficult to create a universal motion restoration technology.
  • In the near future, brain-computer interface (BCI) will be capable of enhancing brain plasticity and boost cognitive skills to help humans learn faster.

Show Notes.

  • [0:50] Initial Spark in Neuroscience and Medicine coming from an Engineering background.
  • [4:38] Start at Battelle and the jump to working with the brain through Nanotechnology.
  • [5:24] Gaurav’s thoughts on the importance of a multi-disciplinary background when studying the brain.
  • [6:32] Gaurav details the mechanisms used in his research of Real Time Cortical Control that contributed to the success of his team at the BCI Awards.
  • [7:40] A walk through of the 3 components of the device used for patients with quadriplegia.
  • [9:01] Gaurav compares how technology use differs between the upper-half of the body versus the lower-half of the body.
  • [11:58] The role that plasticity played in BCI integration with Gaurav’s patients.
  • [14:00] How using BCI with plasticity goes beyond regaining lost function to potentially enhance cognitive skills.
  • [15:28] The future of FDA approval for implantable BCI devices.
  • [17:42] Nano-delivery of drugs to the brain and how BCI technology impacts the efficacy of pharmaceuticals.
  • [19:49] Favorite Neuroscience or Neuro-Technology related book.

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