Synthetic spinal cord paralysis will solve the problem
Some would say that the experience - the best teacher. And for these people, Hugh Herr, this view is indeed an axiom. As a disabled person with no legs, he desperately needed a prosthesis suitable for him, but in the end, they did not find, I decided to develop their own. Who would have thought that something that makes Herr eventually get the status of the most advanced in the world of bionic technology.
Now, a researcher and expert in bionics is a co-founder of the Center for Extreme Bionics at MIT (MIT) - a unique research laboratory, which began to implement the idea of bionics output to a truly new level.
Since the center was founded in 2014 its key objective is to solve the problems of a wide range of physical limitations in people through the development of advanced bionics. Currently, the center has received a grant in the amount of $ 100 million and began a five-year project. The main areas are the treatment of paralysis, depression, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, restoring function in people who have suffered amputation, through the bionic technology.
Simply put, the center deals exclusively with the development of advanced technologies.
Despite the fact that modern prostheses are really able to be helpful and may give amputees the opportunity to recover some of the lost motor function, according to Guerra and his colleagues, they can improve these devices, combining them with advanced neural implants. The benefits of this will be that the prosthesis can communicate directly with the nerve endings and muscles that make their management much easier and actually turn them into bionic continuation of the human body. However, a team of MIT believes that neural implants can have unlimited potential, far beyond the limits of conventional prosthetics. For example, the technology can be used as an alternative center of cerebral functions and used for treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases.
The researchers also see great potential in the development of optogenetics and digital nervous system that can replace the biological and help in the treatment of paralysis and Parkinson's disease. In addition, scientists believe that they can develop cell and tissue, on the basis of which it will be possible to grow organs for repair or replacement of biological structures.
According to statistics from the World Health Organization, at 40-80 per million cases of paralysis appear, but it is only one of the problems about which the focused attention of the Center for Extreme Bionics. If the center staff will be able to find ways to use this technology to help all these people, the Guerra dream of a world in which the disability does not exist in principle, can become a reality.