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Prosthesis

Whether they're on robots or amputees, artificial hands tend to be rather complex mechanisms, incorporating numerous motor-driven cables. Engineers from Germany's Saarland University, however, have taken a different approach with their hand. It moves its fingers via shape-memory nickel-titanium alloy wires, bundled together to perform intricate tasks by working like natural muscle fibers. Read More

An injured sea turtle has become the unlikely beneficiary of 3D printing technology. After being seriously wounded in an encounter with a boat propellor, the turtle is now on the road to recovery thanks to an imaginative medical team.

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Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna have developed a technique that allows amputees to control a robotic prosthesis with their mind when there's no neural connection left to exploit between the brain and the part of the hand that remains. Called "bionic reconstruction," the procedure was applied to three patients who were able to successfully use the prosthesis to undertake routine activities, thereby improving their quality of life. Read More
Computer-controlled artificial legs have aided in improving amputees' freedom of movement by mimicking the natural motion of their missing limbs. Now, a new robotic ankle promises to make this motion even more precise by using a camera to scan the ground ahead and dynamically adjusting to the terrain underfoot. Read More

Stumpy the box turtle had been short of a limb since the amputation of her injured front leg. But a group of fifth graders have put its school's 3D printer to use and produced a custom-made prosthetic inspired by a classroom chair, saving Stumpy from life with a lopsided hobble. Read More

Though printing items like chocolate and pizza might be satisfying enough for some, 3D printing still holds a lot of unfulfilled potential. Talk abounds of disrupting manufacturing, changing the face of construction and even building metal components in space. While it is hard not to get a little bit excited by these potentially world-changing advances, there is one domain where 3D printing is already having a real-life impact. Its capacity to produce customized implants and medical devices tailored specifically to a patient's anatomy has seen it open up all kinds of possibilities in the field of medicine, with the year 2014 having turned up one world-first surgery after another. Let's cast our eye over some of the significant, life-changing procedures to emerge in the past year made possible by 3D printing technology. Read More
A PhD candidate and six undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UCIC) have created a low-cost, programmable, 3D-printed prosthetic hand that may soon change the lives of amputees in Ecuador. The hand costs just US$270 to manufacture, making it a small fraction of the cost of a typical prosthetic of this type. Read More
While the idea of cruising around in a 3D-printed car and munching on 3D-printed chocolate before returning to a 3D-printed home sure is nice, no industry is poised to benefit from this burgeoning technology in quite the way that medicine is. Replacing cancerous vertebra, delivering cancer-fighting drugs and assisting in spinal fusion surgery are just some of the examples we've covered here at Gizmag. The latest groundbreaking treatment involves an Indian cancer patient, who has had his upper jaw replaced with the help of 3D printing. Read More
You probably wouldn't try using the same motorbike for both racing over rough trails and commuting on smooth roads, so ... why use the same prosthetic leg? That's the thinking behind the Moto Knee, a prosthesis that's designed for activities such as skiing, horseback riding, cycling and motocross. In order to withstand the impacts that come with such activities, it even incorporates a Fox DHX Air mountain bike shock absorber. Read More
Touch Bionics has unveiled the latest enhancements to its i-limb Ultra Revolution at OTWorld 2014 International Congress. Users can now set and assign different grips for different objects and configure the prosthetic hand via Android apps. Read More
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