Scientists have succeeded in regenerating the severed nerves of rats using a specially designed bioadhesive.
The gel, made from pigs’ bladder cells interlaced with molecules found in the regenerated limbs of Mexican walking fish, could become a breakthrough method for repairing damaged nerves and spinal cord injuries in humans.
A biomedical engineer and the lead inventor of the bioadhesive, Helder Marcal, said there was currently no way to regenerate injured nerves.
”You can stitch a nerve together but that would not give you recovery or regeneration and most of the time a patient will lose the capacity to move that limb,” Dr Helder, from the recently launched Australian Centre for Nanomedicine at the University of NSW, said.
Biomedical Cybernetics is an innovative scientific approach that aims in a deeper understanding of function and development of complex living systems. It covers mathematical and structural description of information processing in organisms and ecosystems, decision making, e.g. in clinical application and statistical description of dynamical networks that describe e.g. the spreading of infectious diseaes.
Subject of biological cybernetics is the investigation of navigational principles that are essential for survival as well as reproduction of organisms. Being understood in the broadest possible sense the term “organism” covers all possible scales ranging from single organelles to the biosphere.
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.
The DOE Artificial Retina Project is a multi-institutional collaborative effort to develop and implant a device containing an array of microelectrodes into the eyes of people blinded by retinal disease. The ultimate goal is to design a device with hundreds to more than a thousand microelectrodes. This resolution will help restore limited vision that enables reading, unaided mobility, and facial recognition.
The device is intended to bypass the damaged eye structure of those with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration. These diseases destroy the light-sensing cells (photoreceptors, or rods and cones) in the retina, a multilayered membrane located at the back of the eye.
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