Prosthetic (Prosthesis) devices, such as an artificial leg, that replace a part of the body. Prostheses are typically used to replace parts lost by injury (traumatic) or missing from birth (congenital) or to supplement defective body parts. Inside the body, artificial heart valves are in common use with artificial hearts and lungs seeing less common use but under active technology development. Other medical devices and aids that can be considered prosthetics include artificial eyes, palatal obturator, gastric bands, and dentures.
In the July 9 issue of the journal Science, California Institute of Technology neuroscientists Sam Musallam, Brian Corneil, Bradley Greger, Hans Scherberger, and Richard Andersen report on the Andersen lab's success in getting monkeys to move the cursor on a computer screen by merely thinking about a goal they would like to achieve, and assigning a value to the goal.
Where other types of chips use electricity to stimulate nerves, this one instead tickles cells with minute amounts of chemicals. Because nerve cells normally communicate with each other by releasing chemicals known as neurotransmitters, the new device points to a more effective way of treating very delicate tissues, such as those in the eye and in the brain.
For the first time in humans, a team headed by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis has placed an electronic grid atop patients' brains to gather motor signals that enable patients to play a computer game using only the signals from their brains.
Orthonics, Inc., an Atlanta start-up company developing new biomaterials for spinal disc repair and regeneration, has received initial funding from Viscogliosi Brothers, LLC, a New York-based closely held venture capital/private equity and merchant banking firm focused on the musculoskeletal/orthopedics industry. Terms of the funding were not disclosed.
Eight out of every 1000 children are born with a heart problem. Out of these, every fifth child needs a heart valve. While today’s mechanical or biological heart valves allow children to continue their lives, a research team at RWTH is developing a significantly more compatible heart valve that grows along with the body’s growth.
In their first human studies of the feasibility of using brain signals to operate external devices, researchers at Duke University Medical Center report that arrays of electrodes can provide useable signals for controlling such devices. The research team is now working to develop prototype devices that may enable paralyzed people to operate "neuroprosthetic" and other external devices using only their brain signals.
The neck and arm pain caused by degenerative cervical (neck) disc disease may be eliminated by replacing the problem disc with a metal-on-metal artificial disc, according to the results of a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/CNS Section on Disorders of the Spine & Peripheral Nerves.