According to a new research from Harvard Medical School, a small prosthesis, named ‘bionic face’ by the scientists who built it, can use AI to analyze and imitate a person’s brain’s electrical signal and restore functionality to paralyzed face muscles.
Face paralysis has been a serious disease where the patient lose all movement in one half of their face. According to this new study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the goal is to restore natural movement to people with facial palsy or other conditions.
The new device is surgically attached to the nervous system and produces a number of smoother and natural-looking symmetrical movements such as blinking of both eyes at once. It does so by using electrical signals from the uninjured side of the face to trigger muscle movement on the opposite side, reported Futurism.
“Though the ultimate goal of reanimation is to restore dynamic motion of the entire facial musculature, restoration of three symmetric facial movements alone — brow elevation, blink, and smile — would dramatically improve outcomes,” said study author Nate Jowett.
However, the bionic face is still a long way to go into clinical trials yet. For now, the researchers have conducted experiment of the bionic face-induced motions on mouse brains which included eye blinks, whisker movements and twitches.
Nate Jowett expressed, “Such an approach would represent a paradigm shift in management.”