What is Medical Bionics?

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Medical bionics is the replacement or monitoring of damaged organs through engineered devices that interface with the body to improve health outcomes. In this presentation I will concentrate on medical bionic devices designed to restore or supplement function of the nervous system lost during disease or injury.

A number of commercially available neural prostheses will be described – including the remarkably successful bionic ear and deep brain stimulation for movement control.

I will then review some of the current research performed around the world – including recent developments in brain-machine interface that will ultimately allow patients to control prosthetic limbs and wheel chairs; developments in functional electrical stimulation for gait and standing in paraplegia; and research to develop a prosthetic balance system.

Finally I will give an overview of the work being performed by the Bionic Ear Institute and our collaborators in four exciting areas of research – Bionic ear; Bionic eye; Intelligent central nervous system implants; and Nanomedicine – research we anticipate will be delivered to the clinic using a model of translational research centred around multidisciplinary collaboration.

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