U.S. soldiers to test newest prosthetic technologies
"[Prothetic advancement] requires a kind of Manhattan Project in terms of coordination and commitment. WeԒre at a time in history where there are many core technologies that are getting close. And [with such funding as the 2005 Department of Veterans Affairs $7.2 million for the creation of the Center for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine] there will be an opportunity for dramatic and profound innovationwhat even Hollywood would view as bionics."
- Hugh Herr, director, MIT biomechatronics group.
Cambridge, MA - The next generation of artificial limbs fused directly to human bone and commanded by the brain promises effortless, natural motion.
Developed by researchers at the Alfred E. Mann Institute at the University of Southern California, these implantable devices (centimeter-long glass capsules equipped with electrodes) have already been successfully injected in or near patients muscles and nerves to treat paralysis and to stimulate the limbs of stroke and arthritis patients. The researchers are now working on BION2, which will amplify existing nerve signals - sending instructions to the muscles and processing feedback from the limb to improve communication between a prosthetic limb, (such as a hand with moving digits) and its wearer's brain.