Neuralink, an American neuro technology firm co-founded by billionaire businessman Elon Musk, has begun hiring key employees to run clinical trials, signaling that it is close to launching a human test of its brain implants.
The company has published advertisements for the services of Clinical Trial Director and Clinical Trial Coordinator.
The ad states that the staff will “work closely with some of the most advanced physicians and advanced engineers, as well as with the participants of Neuralink’s first clinical trial.”
Elon Musk, the world’s richest man with a fortune of 256 billion, said last month that he expects neuronal brain chips to be implanted in humans sometime in 2022.
However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve the testing plans.
Musk and his Neuralink partners founded a company in 2016 to develop brain chips that connect humans to computers.
He claims that implants will enable paralyzed people to control devices such as smartphones from their brains.
He hopes that once human testing begins, further advances will be made to bridge the gap between neurons and resolve many physical disabilities.
Neuralink has already tested its chips in the brains of a macaque monkey and a pig. The company last April showed a monkey playing a video game with his brain.
Musk told the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council last month that the first human tests would be on people with severe spinal cord injuries.
“We have an opportunity with NeuralLink to activate the entire paralyzed body due to a spinal cord injury,” he said.