The Impact of Technology on Prosthetic Development

The Impact of Technology on Prosthetic Development

Feb 21

Gone are the days of clunky prosthetics constructed from basic materials like wood and metal. Yet, this was the norm several hundred years ago. Individuals strapped bulky devices onto their limbs, but they served little to no function. The material often prevented adequate mobility, ultimately rendering them useless. Fortunately, modern prosthetics allow not just for functionality but comfortability.

Advancements in technology ensure that newer prosthetic are lighter and more responsive thereby allowing the performance of basic tasks such as gripping, walking, and eating. Unlike the ancient counterparts, modern-day prosthetics are made of advanced plastic and carbon fibers. Thus, they appear realistic in nature with life-like details like freckles and fingerprints.

The brain communicates with muscles via electrical signals. The brain sends these signals down the spinal cord through peripheral nerves to the muscles. Neural prosthetics depend on this brain activity to control the prosthetic. Electrodes placed on residual limbs transmit electrical signals from muscles to the brain permitting motion of the prosthetics. Brain Computer Interface permits this phenomenon. Mathematical algorithms decode brain cell activity thus ensuring that the prosthetics performs the appropriate movements.

In accordance to the statements of personal injury lawyers at Mazin & Associates, PC, those suffering from certain disorders like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, spinal injuries or loss of limbs often live drastically altered lives with some depending on the support of other individual’s for everyday tasks. Neural prosthesis relies on the ability for the brain to continue operating and translating external stimuli into actions despite debilitating illnesses or accidents. These prosthetics, then, offer autonomy for those who otherwise would not have it. The future of prosthetic research involves the introduction of sensory feedback between the prosthetic device and brain thereby restoring sensation and enabling the individual to feel the artificial limb.