Why Neurotechnologies? About the Purposes, Opportunities and Limitations of Neurotechnologies in Clinical Applications



Neurotechnologies describe a field of science and engineering in which the nervous system is interfaced with technical devices. Fundamental research is conducted to explore functions of the brain, decipher the neural code and get a better understanding of diseases and disorders. Risk benefit assessment has been well established in all medical disciplines to treat patients best possible while minimizing jeopardizing their lives by the interventions. Is this set of assessment rules sufficient when the brain will be interfaced with a technical system and is this assessment enough? How will these new technologies change personality and society? This article will shortly review different stakeholders’ opinions and their expectation in the field, assembles information the state-of-the art in medical applications of neurotechnological implants and describes and assesses the fundamental technologies that are used to build up these implants starting with essential requirements of technical materials in contact with living tissue. The different paragraphs guide the reader through the main aspects of neurotechnologies and lay a foundation of knowledge to be able to contribute to the discussion in which cases implants will be beneficial and in which cases we should express serious concerns.


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