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Your Brain in 2050: Neural Implants and Robotic Limbs : DNews

Your Brain in 2050: Neural Implants and Robotic Limbs : DNews | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Brain technology could one day allow humans to naturally control robotic limbs or replace human sight.
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Transistors that wrap around tissues and morph with them

Transistors that wrap around tissues and morph with them | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Electronic devices that become soft when implanted inside the body and can deploy to grip 3-D objects, such as large tissues, nerves and blood vessels have been created by researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo.

 

These biologically adaptive, flexible transistors might one day help doctors learn more about what is happening inside the body, and also could be used to stimulate the body for treatments.

 

The research, published in Advanced Materials, is one of the first demonstrations of transistors that can change shape and maintain their electronic properties after they are implanted in the body, said Jonathan Reeder, a graduate student in materials science and engineering and lead author of the work.

 

“Scientists and physicians have been trying to put electronics in the body for a while now, but one of the problems is that the stiffness of common electronics is not compatible with biological tissue,” he said.

 

“You need the device to be stiff at room temperature so the surgeon can implant the device, but soft and flexible enough to wrap around 3-D objects so the body can behave exactly as it would without the device. By putting electronics on shape-changing and softening polymers, we can do just that.”

 

Shape memory polymers (plastics) developed by Dr. Walter Voit, assistant professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering and an author of the paper, are key to enabling the technology.

 

The polymers respond to the body’s environment and become less rigid when they’re implanted. In addition to the polymers, the electronic devices are built with layers that include thin, flexible electronic foils first characterized by a group including Reeder in work published last year in Nature.

 

The Voit and Reeder team from the Advanced Polymer Research Lab in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science fabricated the devices with an organic semiconductor but used adapted techniques normally applied to create silicon electronics that could reduce the cost of the devices.


“We used a new technique in our field to essentially laminate and cure the shape memory polymers on top of the transistors,” said Voit, who is also a member of the Texas Biomedical Device Center. “In our device design, we are getting closer to the size and stiffness of precision biologic structures, but have a long way to go to match nature’s amazing complexity, function and organization.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Russ Roberts's curator insight, May 14, 12:38 PM

Some fascinating research in the field of implant surgery.  Thanks to what is called "shape memory polymers", electronic bodily implants using transistors can be more widely used in medical diagnosis and treatment.  According to research done at the University of Texas and at the University of Tokyo, the successful union of transistors and special polymers "is one of the first demonstrations of transistors that can change shape and maintain their electrical properties after they are implanted in the body."  This is "cutting edge" technology at its best.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

Keith Wayne Brown's curator insight, May 15, 6:39 AM

A necessary step for posthumanity.

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Sensory Substitution and Brain Plasticity: How to Augment our Senses

Since 1968 scientists have been creating sensory substitution and augmentation devices. With these devices they try to replace or enhance one sense by using another sense. For example, in tactile–vision, stimulation of the skin driven by input to a camera is used to replace the ordinary sense of vision that uses our eyes. The feelSpace belt aims to give people a magnetic sense of direction using vibrotactile stimulation driven by a digital compass. This talk discusses these developing technologies, mentions psychologists studying the minds and behavior of subjects who use these kind of devices, and analyzes the nature of perceptual experience and sensory interaction. The talk also explores the nature, limits and possibilities of these technologies, how they can be used to help those with sensory impairments, and what they can tell us about perception and perceptual experience in general.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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33rd Square: Nano Scale Neural Implants Developed

33rd Square: Nano Scale Neural Implants Developed | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
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Stanford Inventors Designs Safe Way to Transfer Energy to Medical Chips in The Body

Stanford Inventors Designs Safe Way to Transfer Energy to Medical Chips in The Body | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A very interesting video was published by Stanford University in which inventors describe how they re-designed batteries not to be bigger than a grain of rice therefore medical devices implanted into the body could be much much smaller.

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Electrical implants let paralysed patients stand again (Wired UK)

Electrical implants let paralysed patients stand again (Wired UK) | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Four paralysed individuals have voluntarily and independently moved their legs for the first time since injury, thanks to a spinal implant that delivers electrical stimulus

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Cochlear Implant Users Can Now Hear Music with New Strategies

Cochlear Implant Users Can Now Hear Music with New Strategies | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Bionics University of Washington scientists have developed a new way of processing the signals in cochlear implants to help users hear music better. The technique lets users perceive... [[ This is a content summary only.
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