Prosthetics Get a Huge Leap Forward with Brain-Powered Technology

A lot of research has been made in terms of prosthetic and the technology to use them as naturally as possible. So far, we’ve seen some pretty amazing ways advanced prosthetics make use of hydraulics and computerized algorithms to simulate limbs and use them more naturally. However, they also cam with limitations in terms of how you could use them.

However, an Icelandic company by the name of Ossur might have propelled this technology far beyond everyone could hope. I’m talking about using prosthetics with the power of your mind. This apparently was the idea over at Ossur, who is now making large-scale clinical trials with its technology.

Ossur’s prosthetics plans to replace today’s prosthetics with their advanced technology, which apparently requires nothing more than a small 15-minute surgery to get the controller in place. After that, people are said to be able to use their prosthetics like they were their own limbs.

The lag between impulses is said to also be significantly small, which they say can improve the performance and health of existing muscle and biological limbs by using the prosthetics more naturally compared to other lower-tech stuff.

If you are worried about battery life or that you need to have it replaced periodically, don’t be. Ossur states that no battery power is required to operate the prosthetic and once the implant is made, it’s there for life.

Past small-scale trials are said to have passed significantly well, with a lot of hope for this next large-scale trial they are currently involved in. Now let’s just hope this is something our health insurance policy will cover in the future.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ossur.com

Walking Bio-Bots Powered By Muscles Becoming a Reality

First of all, a ‘bio-bot’ is a machine which uses synthetic 3D-printed material with biological muscle tissue. Having stated the latter, researchers from the University of Illinois have apparently developed the so-called bio-bots in question, taking us one step further into the future of technological advancements.

Some might wonder how the bio-bots work and what is so special about them. The answer lies in the muscle fibers, having them spiked with electricity in order to contract. The muscles are attached to flexible 3D-printed skeleton frameworks, resulting in bending the skeleton when the muscles contract and reverting back to its original state when they relax. This in the end produces movement, combining biological and synthetic material to achieve such an action, thus the name ‘bio-bot’.

It is said that researchers have been working on similar projects since 2012. At that time, a walking bio-bot prototype used rat heart cells in order to provide motion. However, the researchers found out that the rat cells were not responding well to the induced electricity and couldn’t control when they fired. However, it appears that the ‘new version’ has solved this problem.

“Skeletal muscles cells are very attractive because you can pace them using external signals,” head researcher Rashid Bashir said. “We want to have different options that could be used by engineers to design these things.”

The group of researchers from Illinois sees bio-bots potentially useful for surgical aids and drug delivery vehicles. The group also emphasized that, having their own neurons, they could even recognize and respond to light and chemical stimuli. The group has apparently published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which is a good place to get more details about the bio-bots in question.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The University of Illinois and Nature World News