Private companies and hospital researchers are increasingly making strides toward developing an artificial pancreas, supplanting insulin injections and pinpricks for patients with diabetes. Such a system would mimic the functions of a healthy pancreas, delivering insulin and monitoring blood sugar according to a computer’s careful calculations.
Optical signals could be used instead of electrical signals to stimulate cells in the body, scientists say. In a new study, researchers at the University of Utah used brief, low-power light pulses to control the actions of inner-ear cells, potentially leading to therapies that let those with auditory disorders hear the light.
Tiny-fingered researchers at the University of Michigan have created this computer, the world's first complete millimeter-scale computing system. It is a prototype designed to be implanted in a human eye, to monitor internal pressure there for signs of glaucoma.
All artists face rejection at some point in their careers, and Wafaa Bilal—the NYU professor and artist who had a camera implanted in the back of his head in December—is no exception. Bilal underwent surgery on Friday to have part of the camera apparatus removed after his body rejected one of three titanium posts implanted in his head.
In 2000, Tal Golesworthy, a British engineer, was told that he suffers from Marfan syndrome, a disorder of the connective tissue that often causes rupturing of the aorta. The only solution then available was the pairing of a mechanical valve and a highly risky blood thinner. To an engineer like Golesworthy, that just wasn't good enough. So he constructed his own implant that does the job better than the existing solution--and became the first patient to try it.
An artificial cornea can integrate with the human eye and regenerate nerve tissue, restoring sight to people with impaired vision, researchers announced today.
It’s the first study to show an artificially fabricated material can help regrow damaged eye tissue. The breakthrough could help millions of people worldwide who would otherwise have to rely on transplanted corneas from donors.
Though artificial-joint tech is pretty advanced these days, with titanium hips and knees built to last a decade or more, they won't last forever -- and aging patients will have to go back under the knife for upgrades. Naturally re-growing their own bones would be a nice alternative.
For the first time, researchers have proven this can work, by stimulating the body's own stem cells to re-grow joint tissue around an implantable scaffold.
Former VP Dick Cheney has gone bionic. During a recent heart surgery, doctors implanted a ventricular assist device to augment Cheney’s failing ticker. But it also gives his critics another punchline to work with; because the device moves blood continuously, it doesn’t mimic the pulsating rhythm of the heartbeat. Technically speaking, Dick Cheney no longer has a pulse. Insert Darth Vader comparisons here.
The rapidly aging population of the United States as the Baby Boomers reach their golden years doesn't bode well for our collective vision: 30 percent of Americans over age 75 suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common condition that causes the retina to degrade and decay, resulting in partial blindness. But after five years of deliberation, the FDA has approved the first implantable miniature telescope (IMT) that fits directly into the eye to correct the effects of AMD.
When Oscar the cat lost both his hind paws in a farming accident, it was feared he'd have to trundle around in one of those wheeled-cat apparatuses. But Noel Fitzpatrick, a neuro-orthopedic veterinary surgeon in Surrey, pioneered a groundbreaking technique instead, installing weight-bearing bone implants to create a bionic kitty.
Implanting clunky electrodes or other devices inside people's heads could someday give way to smoother, silkier neuromedicine. Scientists say that they have successfully measured the electrical activity of cat brains by using a silk-silicon surface mesh, according to Technology Review.
Measuring sensors and actuators can turn any old hip implant into a smart network that helps patients avoid implant problems and may even actively regenerate bone. This "smart hip" system has already been demonstrated successfully on animals.
A current prototype allows physicians to activate the "smart hip" via wireless Bluetooth and a computer. The network of actuators which help stimulate bone growth at the implant's surface has also undergone tests in cell studies as well as animals.
Virginia legislators claimed victory today against implantable microchips by passing a bill that prevents employers or insurance companies from forcing patients to accept the devices. Privacy topped the reasons for concern, but the bill's sponsor also saw the microchips as the "mark of the beast," according to the Washington Post.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.