Amplitude / Science & Technology

Tag: Science & Technology

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Proteins Regenerate Residual Bone and Joints After Amputation

Researchers at Texas A&M University and Tulane University have found that treating amputation wounds in mice with two proteins encouraged growth of the residual bone and joint. Because the human skeletal structure is similar to a mouse, the researchers are optimistic that one day the discovery will help people with amputations regrow limbs. The research...

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Reinforcement Learning Expedites Tuning of Robotic Prostheses

Researchers from North Carolina State University (NC State), the University of North Carolina (UNC), and Arizona State University (ASU) have developed an intelligent system for tuning powered prosthetic knees, allowing patients to walk comfortably with the device in about ten minutes. The system is the first to rely solely on reinforcement learning to tune the...

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Our Bodies May Cure Themselves of Diabetes in the Future

Diabetes is caused by damaged or non-existing insulin cells’ inability to produce insulin, a hormone that is necessary in regulating blood sugar levels. Many diabetes patients take insulin supplements to regulate these levels. In collaboration with other international researchers, researchers at the University of Bergen (UiB) have discovered that glucagon-producing cells in the pancreas can...

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Experimental Stem Cell Therapy Speeds Up Wound Healing

The healing of wounded skin in people with diabetes can be sped up by more than 50 percent using injections of stem cells taken from bone marrow, a new study in mice shows. The research, led by scientists at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, focused on a chain of events in diabetes...

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Adjustable Sockets May Help Control Fluid Volume in Residual Limb

Existing prosthetic technologies’ adjustable sockets and locking pin tethers can be used in novel ways to help maintain residual limb fluid volume in active prosthesis users with transtibial amputations. Researchers examined if either of two accommodation strategies executed during resting—socket release with full socket size return and socket release with partial socket size return—enhanced limb...

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TMR on Transtibial Amputees Reduces Initial Phantom Limb Pain

Physicians at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine are pioneering the use of primary targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) to prevent or reduce debilitating phantom limb and residual limb pain in individuals with transtibial amputations. Primary TMR has shown to reduce phantom limb and residual limb pain, as reported in recent...

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Neuroprosthetic Advance May Improve Prosthetic Touch and Phantom Limb Pain

Scientists at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, have developed a miniaturized electronic platform for the stimulation and recording of peripheral nerve fibers on a chip. The platform paves the way for using chips to improve neuroprosthetic designs, which may lead to restoration of the sense of touch for people who use prosthetic...

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San Diego Triathlon Challenge Weekend Scheduled for October 19-21

As part of the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s (CAF’s) 25th anniversary celebration, the 2018 Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC) weekend will be held from October 19-21 in La Jolla, California. The weekend will culminate with Sunday’s title event, which features a one-mile ocean swim, 44-mile bike ride, and ten-mile run. “This day brings...

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New Generation Of Pain Medications May Offer Fewer Side Effects

Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Zuse Institute Berlin have developed a new generation of opioids that will only work at sites affected by injury or inflammation. These drugs can prevent the occurrence of brain- and gut-related side effects typically associated with conventional opioids and have been shown to be successful in preclinical...

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E-Whiskers Could Have Prosthetic Application

Heating the polymer allowed the e-whiskers to rise and become three-dimensional. Photograph courtesy of UT Dallas. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) have developed artificial, electronic whiskers that they believe are a significant step toward engineering electronic human skin and to providing sensory information to prosthetic limbs. The work is described in...

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Naked Prosthetics Finger-loss Technology Recognized

Naked Prosthetics, Olympia, Washington, has been named 1 of 13 medical technologies that are changing lives by Business Insider. Naked Prosthetics designs and manufactures prosthetic devices specifically for finger loss. The custom-developed devices help the user perform most tasks by mimicking natural finger motion.  

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Amputee Coalition Awards Two Scholarships

The Amputee Coalition’s Scott Decker, MD, Memorial Scholarship and Christina Skoski, MD, Scholarship have been awarded for 2018. Madelyn Hubbs received the Scott Decker, MD, Memorial Scholarship. She will enter Maryville University this fall as a freshman and is planning to study occupational therapy.     David Gelfand received the Christina Skoski, MD, Scholarship. Gelfand...

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Late-life Healthcare Spending Not Wasteful

  End-of-life healthcare spending in the United States is not wasteful, a new study says; many recipients of such expenditures aren’t certain to die, as the thinking goes. Rather, they represent a pool of sicker individuals whose odds are harder to predict. The findings contradict a common view that in America, large amounts of healthcare...

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New Prosthetic Ankle Adapts to Rough Terrain and Stairs

Sasser tests the prosthetic ankle. Photograph courtesy of Vanderbilt University. The Vanderbilt University lab of Michael Goldfarb, PhD, has completed testing of a smart prosthetic ankle that can respond to varying terrain and stairs. The ankle’s motor, actuator, sensors, and chip work together to either conform to the surface the foot is contacting or remain...

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Electronic Skin Allows Prosthetic Hands to Touch, Feel Pain

A team of engineers at Johns Hopkins University has created an electronic skin that will enable individuals with amputations to perceive the sense of touch and pain through prosthetic fingertips. When layered on top of prosthetic hands, the electronic skin, or e-dermis, brings back a real sense of touch through the fingertips, said Luke Osborn,...

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New Technology Could Make Prosthetic Hands Easier to Use

Researchers placed EMG sensors on the forearms of able-bodied volunteers, tracking neuromuscular signals as they performed various actions. Photograph courtesy of NC State University. Researchers in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed technology that can decode neuromuscular signals to control...

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Artificial Nerve System Could Give Prostheses a Sense of Touch

Researchers at Stanford University and Seoul National University, Korea, have developed an artificial sensory nerve system that can activate the twitch reflex in a cockroach as well as identify letters in the Braille alphabet. The work, published May 31 in Science, is a step toward creating artificial skin and restoring sensation to people who use...

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Leg Muscles Could Be Used to Control Prosthetic Arms

A study conducted at the University of California, Davis, used surface EMG sensors placed on participants’ lower legs to test a noninvasive approach to control prosthetic elbow, wrist, and hand movements with minimal training. The researchers concluded that the method could benefit prosthesis users who have upper-limb amputations proximal to the elbow and lack residual...

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College Park, Liberating Technologies Receive DOD Grants

College Park Industries, Warren, Michigan, and its company, Liberating Technologies, Holliston, Massachusetts, have received three grant awards from the U.S. Department of Defense. A $999,820 grant, Technologies to Train Myoelectric Prosthesis Users for Optimal Functional Outcomes, will help the companies develop a motivational, portable, and affordable myoelectric trainer for people with upper-limb amputations. The trainer...

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Amputees Scheduled to Trek Across Sydney

Eight amputees will embark on a three-day trek across Sydney May 24-26. Some participants have undergone osseointegration surgery, while the others will be using sockets to attach their prosthetic limbs.   “About 40 years ago when I first became an amputee, walking 50 miles in three days would not have been possible due to the...

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Researchers Develop Cheaper, Lighter Prosthetic Hand

Researchers at the Rome-based Italian Institute of Technology (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, IIT) and Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (Istituto Nazionale per l’Assicurazione, INAIL) prosthetic center have developed a prosthetic hand they say allows users to grip objects with more precision and features a design that is less expensive to produce than other myoelectric prostheses. Called...

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First U.S. Clinical Trial of 3D-printed Prostheses for Children Is Launched

The trial will test functionality, gauge the effect on the children’s quality of life, and determine how they use the arm for specialized tasks. Photograph courtesy of OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff. A partnership between Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Limbitless Solutions, a nonprofit organization based at the University of Central Florida (UCF), has led to...

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Hanger Clinic Introduces Virtual Reality Technology

Hanger, Austin, Texas, has launched MIGO, a virtual reality experience designed for people with limb loss and limb difference. The initial MIGO 360-degree immersive video experience offers users an opportunity to have a first-person point-of-view interaction with another person who has an amputation. Users can experience a variety of activities, from walking down stairs, driving...

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Graduate Student Awarded Lemelson-MIT Student Prize

The Lemelson-MIT Program named 14 winners of the 2018 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize on April 10. Tyler Clites, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate student, won $15,000 for a new approach he developed for people with amputations called the Agonist-antagonist Myoneural Interface (AMI). AMI is comprised of a novel surgical technique for limb amputation and...

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NAAOP Selects Inaugural Fellow

The National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP) has selected Nicole Ver Kuilen as the recipient of the inaugural NAAOP Fellowship. Ver Kuilen lost her leg to bone cancer when she was 10. She recently completed a 1,500-mile triathlon down the Pacific coast to raise awareness about challenges people with amputations have...

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New ?Cooling Sock? Could Help Reduce Battlefield Amputations

Researchers at The Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland, have developed a new treatment technique that could reduce the need for amputations on the battlefield. The three-stage approach based on soldier experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, involves a new type of tourniquet and a ‘cooling sock’ which preserves the limb from further damage. Researchers reviewed the current...

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Researchers Test Augmented Reality for Treatment of Phantom Pain

Max Ortiz Catalan, PhD, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, who conducts research using augmented reality to reduce phantom limb pain in people with amputations, is coordinating further research at eight locations around the world. Catalan, founder of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at Chalmers, oversaw an initial study in 2016 that uses the same...

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Weight Training May Beat Cardio for Many Older Adults

Weight training or cardio? For older adults trying to slim down, pumping iron might be the way to go. Photograph courtesy of WFU/Ken Bennett. A study by researchers at Wake Forest University (WFU) suggests combining weight training with a low-calorie diet preserves much needed lean muscle mass that can be lost through aerobic workouts. The...

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Skin-like Prosthetic Coverings Becoming Closer to Reality

Pixelated electronics built with skin-like materials conform to the complex curves of a hand. Image by L.A. Cicero courtesy of Stanford University. Restoring lost sense of touch with stretchable, electronically-sensitive synthetic materials has been the focus of research conducted by Stanford University chemical engineer Zhenan Bao, PhD for more than 20 years. In research published...

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Prostheses Could Benefit From Self-healable, Recyclable E-skin

Photograph of the e-skin courtesy of CU Boulder. Researchers at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder have developed a new type of malleable, self-healing, and fully recyclable electronic skin that has applications in prosthetic development, robotics, and biomedical devices. Electronic skin, or e-skin, is a thin, translucent material that can mimic the function and mechanical...

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Walking in Groups May Help Keep Exercise Goals on Track

People may be more likely to stick to exercise if they walk in groups, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care. The research, led by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), also found that group walking plays a part in improved physical activity and better quality of life. The review...

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Case Study: Body-powered Devices Help With Physically Demanding Work

An open-access case study, published January 3 in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, addressed the prosthetic needs of a forensic pathologist who has a unilateral transradial amputation. The case study participant and first author, Wolf Schweitzer, MD, noted that forensic medicine is a physically demanding work environment even for people without disabilities; therefore, a prosthesis user requires...

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Pitt Receives DOD Funds to Study Prosthetic Tech for Vets

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) have received $500,000 of a combined $7.5 million in grant funding from the Department of Defense (DOD), congressionally directed medical research programs that will be applied toward study in prosthetic technology for military personnel. Service members and veterans who have lost limbs...

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Getting Patients to Share Their Electronic Health Records

Education is the key to getting patients to share their medical records electronically with healthcare providers, according to a study from the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Management. Published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the study found that while patient education has typically focused on the benefits of electronic records, privacy concerns keep...

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3D-Printed Transitional Prostheses May Improve Kids’ Dexterity, Study Shows

Knowledge about the use of 3D-printed transitional prostheses for children is limited as it relates to changes in function and strength, according to a study published November 8 in the online edition of Journal Disability and Rehabilitation Assistive Technology. The study aimed to identify functional and strength changes after a 3D-printed transitional prosthesis, the Cyborg Beast...

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Study: Load-adaptive Devices Could Help Lighten Load for Amputees

Researchers conducted a study to test powered robotic devices among people with transfemoral amputations in more challenging real-world situations, such as when the user carries groceries or a backpack. The results suggest that this population could benefit from load-adaptive powered knee controllers.  “We wanted to first understand how load affects amputees’ walking with normal prosthesis settings that...

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Hanger Charitable Foundation Awards More 2017 Grants

The Hanger Charitable Foundation, Austin, Texas, has completed its second round of 2017 grant awards, giving $56,500 to six nonprofit organizations, as follows: Austin Blades Sled Hockey, Sled Hockey for Individuals with Physical Challenges: $5,000 to support adaptive sled hockey camps and tournaments Challenged Athletes Foundation, Access for Athletes: $25,000 to provide adaptive sports equipment, coaching, mentoring and...

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RAND Study: Far Fewer Falls Occur With MPKs

People with amputations in the United States are facing a “tech gap” in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and private health insurers deny access to new microprocessor-controlled knees (MPKs), which are only slightly more expensive over a lifetime and safer in terms of preventable injuries and deaths than the older, less...

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Disability Obstacle Course Shows Struggles of People With Disabilities

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and the Schriever Air Force Base community is reminded to observe the struggles and strength of people with disabilities, including the many veterans with disabilities in the local community. This includes keeping an eye out for any potential violations. The 50th Space Wing’s Equal Opportunity (EO) Office...

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Study: PCAST Might Benefit Amputees in Developing Countries

In an attempt to develop affordable socket fabrication techniques that require little or no prosthetic skill for people living with lower-limb loss in developing countries, a study was conducted using a water-pressure casting technique (PCAST) to fabricate and fit transtibial prosthetic sockets. In the study, highlighted during the International Conference on the Development of Biomedical...

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Team Össur?s Running Blades Featured in Kennedy Center Exhibit

The Cheetah prosthetic running blade, developed by Össur, Reykjavik, Iceland, is featured in an exhibition at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC through August 30. The exhibit, “Artful Innovation: Inclusive Design and Technology,” showcases Cheetahs worn by Team Össur Paralympic athletes April Holmes and Jerome Singleton, and notes that...

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Coapt and WillowWood Partner on Prosthetic Liner

Coapt, Chicago, and WillowWood, Mt. Sterling, Ohio, have formed a partnership to develop an upper-limb prosthetic liner that will combine WillowWood’s interface materials and design with Coapt’s pattern recognition method. The new liner for pattern recognition control is the result of research conducted at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), and will...

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