The Cap City Biohackers are passionate about biotechnology and how it can enhance our lives. When we met Ian Burkhart, we thought his story exemplified this mission and are welcoming him to tell us his story on how advancements in biotechnology have influenced his life. 

Ian is a Columbus native that suffered a spinal cord injury while on vacation in 2010, leaving him quadriplegic. For the past 4 years Ian has been enrolled in a novel clinical trial through The Ohio State University and Battelle, that implements a novel technology called NeuroLife, allowing Ian to regain control of his fingers, hand, and wrist. 

So how does this work? I won’t spoil all of the details, but in short, Ian underwent a surgery in which doctors implanted a small chip on the motor cortex of his brain, the area responsible for voluntary movement. This chip gathers and transmits information Ian is thinking about to a computer, where his brain signals are analyzed. This data is then sent to a sleeve containing electrodes that Ian is wearing which stimulates his arm muscles causing specific movements. Luckily at this event, we will also have experts that have worked closely with Ian throughout this trial, Dr. Marcie Bockbrader, from OSU, and Dr. Mingming Zhang, from Battelle, to talk us through this new technology and answer all of our questions. 

Our event will start promptly at 6:30 pm so arrive at TRISM early to get food and beverages. 

More information on NeuroLife:

Dr. Marcie Bockbrader:

Dr. Mingming Zhang: