Electronic implants could be used in a variety of ways in the future, most notably being within the field of medicine, where they could provide novel ways to address difficult problems. A consistent problem with the use of electronic implants has been their unforgiving solid nature, something addressed by a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo.
Dean Kamen doesn't pull his punches. The creator of the Segway and the founder of FIRST - a charity that aims to make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as enticing as sports and entertainment for young people across the world - has no time for gimmicks and refuses to allow "consumer fun" to distract him. I sat down with Kamen on the sidelines of the FIRST Robotics Championship 2014, to talk about the ways innovation has evolved, and why he thinks the current crop of wearables will go down in history alongside the hula-hoop.
Though it is possible for severed nerve ends to grow back together, the process is long and the time it takes often results in life-altering muscle atrophy. Some researchers in China have come up with a first-ever solution to this, eschewing typical stitching and grafting to re-connect nerve ends using liquid metal.
It is pretty obvious that the chances of a body accepting a tissue or part from its own are greater, than a donation. There have been two cases reported where scientists grew reproductive organs and nasal cartilage in labs, and were able to successfully implant them in patients. So far no complications have been reported, which is always a cause of concern in such cases, indicating a very positive step in tissue engineering.
With Google Glass still in the pre-public phase, it’s strange to see a pair out in public being used by a medical professional. But that’s just what’s happening in a teaching hospital in Boston, Massachusetts where Dr. Steve Horng is making use of his own custom Google Glass headset with real patients.
Researchers from Duke University have made a break through with artificial lab grown muscle tissue. The team has created an artificial muscle that is able to contract powerfully and rapidly while being able to be successfully integrated into mice in tests. One of the coolest aspects of this artificial muscle is that the fibers are able to heal themselves.
Google's Project Ara modular smartphone could well end up a real-life Tricorder of sorts, with medical uses for the customizable handset now on the agenda for the first Ara developers conference. Exactly which modules Google will offer for Ara - magnetically snapping into place on an underlying backplane - has not been detailed, though a new speaker addition to the inaugural developer event from MIT suggests it could be more than just extra batteries and different cameras.
Google isn't the only team working on digital tattoos, with a new adhesive patch that can not only track biometrics but administer drugs being developed that could potentially revolutionize how long-term conditions like Parkinson's disease and epilepsy are treated. The 0.003 millimeter thick sticky patch is the handiwork of a team at the University of Texas in Austin, and layers sensors, onboard storage, medication, and microheaters into a Band-Aid scale rectangle.
A father and son team named Peter Binkley and Peregrine Hawthorn have worked together to create a prosthetic hand for Hawthorn to use. The hand is called the Talon Hand 2.0 and was built on a Solidoodle 3D printer. We talked about the Solidoodle 3D printer when it launched back in 2012.