Elon Musk’s brain-implant company, Neuralink, has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials.
“We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study!” Neuralink’s official Twitter account wrote on Thursday. “This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people.”
Neuralink aims to develop implantable devices that will let people control computers with their brain, as well as restore vision or mobility to people with disabilities. However, while this may sound exciting for people with disabilities, some experts have expressed concern.
The FDA reportedly rejected an application from Neuralink to begin human trials last year, as there were “dozens of issues the company must address.” Among them were concerns that wires could shift and damage the brain, that the brain might be damaged during removal of the device, and that there may be potential issues with its lithium battery.
The FDA did not clarify if these issues have been completely resolved or that Neuralink’s brain chips are free of risks. The agency only approved the company to begin human trials, which means that Neuralink will need to collect more data about the safety and effectiveness of its technology before it can be made available to the public.