Tag Archives | bionics

No Donor Required: 5 Body Parts You Can Make With 3-D Printers

Robert J. Szczerba via Forbes:

3-D printing has been around in various forms since the 1980s, originally as a means of quickly producing affordable prototypes for the manufacturing industry. Recently, researchers have found some amazing healthcare and biological applications for 3-D printing technology, called bioprinting.  As a result, the 3-D printing market for healthcare is predicted to reach roughly 4.04 billion by 2018. From custom prosthetics to living tissue, 3-D printing is a versatile means of providing cost effective and individualized care to patients.

With the advent of 3-D bioprinting, cells can now be dispensed from the printer onto a biologically compatible scaffolding, layer by layer, to create a three dimensional viable tissue. Numerous tissues have been constructed that can be used for a number of clinical applications from transplants to scientific research.

Although 3-D bioprinting is still a relatively new technology, there is notable success within this field with greater implications as the technology develops.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Wheelchair Controlled By Brain Signals And Prosthetics That ‘Feel’


Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Greg Mitchell

Unveiled at the science conference in Washington, bionics introduced thought-controlled wheelchairs could create new opportunities for paralyzed patients. BBC News reports:

Thought-controlled wheelchairs and nerve-controlled prosthetic arms are some of the latest innovations in bionics being discussed at a science conference in Washington.

The wheelchair can be directed by brain signals detected using a cap fitted to the user and is the work of scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland (EPFL).

It is part of efforts to control machines directly via brain signals, which could lead to new devices for the paralysed and disabled.

The main focus of bionics to date has been on providing prosthetics for amputees. Prosthetic arms can now be controlled by nerve signals in the remaining arm, which can be picked up by electric sensors on the skin.

Those with arms amputated above the elbow, where important nerves have been severed, can also potentially control such devices, thanks to what is called “Targeted Muscle Reinnervation” surgery (TMR).

Read the rest
Continue Reading

World’s First Bionic Cat (Video)

One of our cats recently fell from our 4th floor NYC apartment and sad to say, the ASPCA told us it should not be saved, even though the local animal hospital wanted $14,000 to try. But they didn't say they could give it bionic limbs ... maybe if we lived in the UK, per this story from ABC News:
Continue Reading

Are We Closer To Robotic Superpowers?

The disabled are already combining cutting-edge technology with robotics and bionics, according to this article. The video at the end of the article shows a TED presentation by Aimee Mullins, who argues “It is no longer a conversation about overcoming deficiencies. It’s a conversation about augmentation…about potential,” adding artificial limbs “can stand as a symbol that the wearer has the power to create whatever it is that they want to create in that space.”

There’s also a video of a new robotic hand wired to existing nerve endings that can literally feel using 40 sensors linked directly to the brain. (“Perfectly good nerve endings remain at the stem of a severed limb… Our team is building the interface between the device and the nerves in the arm, connecting cognitive neuroscience with state-of-the-art information technologies.”) Plus a very moving story about the prosthetic “Luke” arm designed by Segway inventor Dean Kamen.… Read the rest

Continue Reading