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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Fixing what you lost
Science and technology are working to bring solutions to those who lose limbs, or are at risk of limb amputation.
Yes, solutions, as in plural.
Techies have continued to make advancements in prosthetics while biomedical engineers are advancing ways to regrow bone or bone-like substances.
Credit: The Lancet TV
In the prosthetics world, neurologists and engineers have created a robotic arm that connects to your neural (electrical) network through a brain-machine interface. Yes, right now the hand on the arm does kind of remind one of a Daleks', but it's a start. Now that the mechanics work, it's only a matter of time before they pretty it up and model it as a human limb.
Credit: Aaron Goodman
On the other hand - har, har - biological engineers have continued their progress to regrow bone, and bone-like substances, to heal and recreate lost limbs or sections of bone. I first saw this in 2007 when scientists made a breakthrough on growing bone from stem cells. As late as 2010, scientists were able to regrow a whole section of a mammal's leg.
It's such a wonder to live in the day and age, right on the birth of such medical breakthroughs. Imagine how these technologies will help not only accident victims, bone disease sufferers, but our war veterans.