Znanstvenici iz Centra national de la recherche scientifique sa sveučilišta Aix-Marseille i Sveučilišta Sorbonne trenutno rade na otkrićima u biomehaničkoj protezi, često nazvanoj bionika. Prema MedGadget, istraživači mijenjaju način pristupa robotskim protetskim udovima za amputirane ljude, usredotočujući se na razumijevanje sindroma fantomskih ekstremiteta i liječeći ga kao bolest umjesto kao nuspojavu zbog gubitka udova.
This included monitoring how the muscles and remaining nerve endings interact with the brain, and the signals that they send out when amputees attempt to make movements or gestures with a limb no longer there. Many individuals who suffer from phantom limb syndrome note that it still feels like they have a limb there and that they can move it, even when it’s completely gone. Instead of trying to work around this factor, the researchers from CNRS have decided to tackle the phantom limbs head on and the results are actually a lot more positive than the alternative method of using myoprotheses or electromyography to allow amputees to control their prosthetic limbs.
In the case of electromyography, the procedure relies on sending specific signals to the Myo sensors and then have the sensors send the signals to the prosthetic limb. It’s basically like radio-myography, working very similar to a remote control device that sends a specific signal and the receiver responding to that signal accordingly.
Electromyography is a mentally taxing process as wearers have to think about what they’re doing and send that signal to the limb for it to respond in a specific way. CNRS is utilizing the existing nerve endings to recreate the natural limbic interaction with the central nervous system in order to allow amputees to control robotic limbs without having to think about it. The results were demonstrated with a short 38 second video from the Internetska stranica CNRS-a koje možete provjeriti u nastavku.
They’re calling it ANR PhantoMovControl, using a modified Hosmer elbow, a prototype Rasberry Pi 3 controller, and an electronic wrist rotator with a standard bionic prosthetic hand.
The process that they’re using is very similar to what Hugh Herr i istraživački tim na MIT-u radili su na svom dvosmjernom umjetnom dodatku osmišljenom na uspostavljanju proprioceptivnih povratnih informacija koristeći bionički ud.
In short, Herr and the researchers at MIT are relying on tapping into the nerve signals at the end of an amputated stump and building custom electrodes that are surgically implanted into the patient, which allows them to send natural, neural signals to the bionic limb. The big difference between Herr’s work and the CNRS team is that there is no invasive surgery procedure for the CNRS bionics, and it instead relies solely on utilizing the existing nerve stems to control the bionic limb.
Bit će zanimljivo vidjeti koja od ove dvije metode postaju široko rasprostranjena i široko prihvaćena u široj javnosti u nadolazećim godinama. Obje su i dalje izuzetno skupe procedure, ali cijena bioničkih udova brzo opada kao nove i naprednije tehnologije svake godine.