The Brilliant Ten of 2014

His brain implants could one day halt epileptic episodes and allow amputees to control prostheses with their minds.

Jonathan Viventi spent his early 20s engineering wireless technologies for cellphones. These days, he’s applying the same skills to medicine. As a bioengineer at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, Viventi designs electrode arrays that make exceptionally detailed recordings of brain activity. They are poised to transform the way scientists understand neurological disorders.

Existing brain implants require individual electrodes to be wired to an external device for data processing. Viventi’s arrays contain transistors that enable the signals to be processed locally, yet they're as thin and flexible as a sheet of cellophane, conforming to the contours of the brain.

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