Elon Musk is closer to being able to implant a computer in a human brain. The Neuralink company, the neurotechnology company he owns, announced Thursday that it received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct human studies of its implants. cerebral.

“We are pleased to announce that we have received FDA approval to launch our first human clinical study!” the company announced on its Twitter account.

The Neuralink team assures that this authorization “represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people.” The company will now focus on recruiting volunteers for its first clinical study, though it has not yet opened enrollment and promises to announce more information on this issue soon.

The FDA had initially been reluctant to approve it, raising concerns about possible overheating of the implant, which includes microwires in brain tissue. The US regulator maintained that they could result in the leakage of chemical elements from the implant into the brain mass.

Until now, the company founded by Elon Musk had only done a few tests on monkeys. The results convinced the company, but not specialized organizations. In a meeting organized by The Wall Street Journal, the tycoon assured that the system was “safe and reliable”; however, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine accused the researchers of subjecting the monkeys to unlawful mistreatment and “extreme suffering.”

Musk has been demanding authorization from the FDA for months to carry out human trials. In early December, he went so far as to say that Neuralink was ready to perform brain implants in humans within six months. The regulator has changed its position and will allow the company specialized in the development of interfaces of this type to continue with its plans.

Neuralink chips have a therapeutic purpose. Its function is to read brain activity to be able to transmit orders that help restore some severely damaged brain functions after a heart attack, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or tetraplegia. The goal is for these people to have the ability to control their computers and mobile devices with their thoughts.

Until now, brain implants have only developed in one direction: from the brain to the outside, where a computer processed the signals. But the Neuralink project wants to end this paradigm, also transferring information in the other direction, towards the brain.