Bionic Technologies

"B" is for Bionic Technologies! It always amazes me how much health care has progressed over the years and it makes me extremely happy that technology has become such a big part of that. Not only when it comes down to the machines, but also the pure technological advances placed within the human body. 

Bionic Gaze

When you're blind, being able to see even the basics of light, movement and shape can make a big difference! Currently in FDA trials, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis records basic visual information via camera. It then processes it into electronic signals and sends it wirelessly to elctrodes implanted into the brain. This is still in the early stages of development, but it could literally bypass the eyes entirely, sending visual data straight into ones brain! Isn't that amazing?

According to Dr. John Pezaris, Harvard Research Fellow, "The visual brain depends on visual experience to develop normally," so this implies that it works best on people who could once see because their brains will already know how to process the information.

Traveling Pancreas

Of the 25.8 million children and adults in the United State, 8.3% have diabetes. Insulin-dependent diabetics have to live with some very strict lifestyle guidelines, but this artifical pancreas could help them live more normal lives, making it easier for them to avoid the affects of having too little or too much blood sugar. This contraption is capabable of monitoring a person's blood sugar and adjusting the level of insulin to meet their body's needs. What's great about this? We'll likely be seeing it on the market in a few short years, says Aaron Kowalski, director of strategic research projects at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

New Limbs

This one is always one of my favorites! Prosthetics have helped improve the lives of many amputees. Now, prosthetic arms can be used the same way you would use a real one - by the power of thought!

Dr. Todd Kuiken of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago developed the "bionic arm". It's connected to the brain by healthy motor nerves that used to run into the patient's missing limb. These are then re-routed to other areas of the body, like the chest, where the nerve impulses they carry can be picked up by electrodes in the bionic arm. A patient can think about moving their hand, this sends the nerves that would have been sent to the real hand to the prosthetic one! 

It doesn't end there. Dr. Kuiken's team is working on ways to improve the arm, using surviving sensory nerves to communicate the feeling of temperature, vibration and pressure. 

Your Thoughts? 

There are so many other stories and ways that bionic technology are improving the lives of people and animals all over the world! Too many for me to list out, but I was wondering what everyone else thinks about this new age of technology. Do you know someone who has been affected by bionic technology? Do you know of any other awesome stories or ways that technology has helped save the lives of others? Share your opinons and stories in the comment section below! I can't wait to read them. 

<3 x 9001,

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Wes - April 2nd, 2012 at 9:35am

So this 'Bio-vision' is going to bypass the lateral geniculate nuclei, optic nerve, ,optic radiations, occipital cortex, optic tract, and the optic chiasm and go straight to the brain?

This is so hard to wrap my head around that it's brilliant!

Great read! ^_^


Jihel - April 2nd, 2012 at 10:07am

I want a bionic digestive system.

For eliminating all the fat to allow me to eat tons of chocolate.

Larri @ Seams Inspired - April 3rd, 2012 at 5:00pm

Great 'B' post! Isn't technology simply amazing? Every day seems to bring something new in the medical field. Looking forward to your posts. Happy Tuesday! ☺

PS...My 14yo son wants to be a game designer. He's taking some classes right now. I'll be pointing him to your site, as I'm sure he'll want to listen to your podcasts. ☺

Candace Gauger - April 3rd, 2012 at 7:40pm

Amazing post! Simply amazing!



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