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Medicine Science Technology

New Interface Could Wire Prosthetics Directly Into Amputees' Nervous Systems 160

cylonlover writes "Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have announced a breakthrough in prosthetics that may one day allow artificial limbs to be controlled by their wearers as naturally as organic ones, as well as providing sensations of touch and feeling. The scientists have developed a new interface consisting of a porous, flexible, conductive, biocompatible material through which nerve fibers can grow and act as a sort of junction through which nerve impulses can pass to the prosthesis and data from the prosthesis back to the nerve. If this new interface is successful, it has the potential to one day allow nerves to be connected directly to artificial limbs."
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New Interface Could Wire Prosthetics Directly Into Amputees' Nervous Systems

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  • Adverse Events (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Milo Fungus (232863) on Monday March 05, 2012 @01:48PM (#39250299)
    I am a doctor. In fact, I am a neurologist (IAAN). This article is fascinating, and I hope they keep working on this technology and get it working. That being said, I would never plug one of these things into my own amputated limb. Going to medical school and doing residency have turned me into something of a Luddite. Medical technology is cool, but every treatment has potential benefits and toxicities. The adverse event I would worry about most with this technology is neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to treat. What if you plugged this device into some amputee's limb and gave them excruciating pain? I would rather have a metal hook for a hand.

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