Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a brain implant, called the BioBolt, that captures neural signals from within the brain and transmits them to an external device by using the skin as a conductor. The BioBolt is embedded within the skull directly under the skin. It is about the circumference of a dime, with a thumbnail-sized film of microcircuits attached to the bottom that makes direct contact with the brain surface. Neural signals are amplified and filtered, and then transmitted through the skin to a computer. Because it does not penetrate the cortex and uses the skin to transmit data, it is minimally invasive (although it still needs a hole to be drilled in the skull) and uses little power. The researchers aim to use it as a brain-computer interface to operate a computer, or eventually to reactivate paralyzed limbs. Other potential applications are controlling epilepsy and diagnosing brain diseases like Parkinson’s.