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Prosthetics

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United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brian P. Dunleavy writes that MIT researchers have developed a new system, modeled on a dog’s keen sense of smell, that could be used to help detect disease using smell. “We see the dogs and their training research as teaching our machine learning [sense of smell] and artificial intelligence algorithms how to operate,” says research scientist Andreas Mershin.

Mashable

Mashable spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new type of amputation surgery that could “help amputees better control their residual muscles and sense where their ‘phantom limb’ is in space.” 

The Boston Globe

Postdoc Shriya Srinivasan has devised a new way to perform amputation surgery that would reconnect dangling nerves to the skin and help restore a patient’s sense of touch, reports Anissa Gardizy for The Boston Globe. “I would hope that in the next 10 years, people are offered the ability to have these advanced techniques incorporated into their initial surgery,” she said.

CBS Boston

WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler spotlights undergraduate Riley Quinn, who is running the Boston Marathon to raise funds for an organization that provides custom prosthetic devices for amputees. “Knowing I’m raising money for a cause that matters so much to me and will impact the lives of others,” says Quinn, “it’s that extra push where it makes me try a little harder.”

CBS Boston

CBS Boston reporter Dr. Mallika Marshall spotlights research by researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to develop robotic prosthetic limbs controlled by the brain. “It’s a wonderful experience as a researcher,” explains Herr of the work’s impact. “They walk away and start crying or laughing and giggling and say, ‘my gosh I have my body back, I have leg back, I have my life back.’”

Forbes

In an article for Forbes, Charles Towers-Clark spotlights how MIT researchers developed a surgical technique that allows amputees to receive feedback from prosthetic limbs. The technique, Towers-Clark writes, “uses a muscle graft from another part of the body to complete the muscle pair, avoiding rejection which currently occurs in around 20% of cases, and allowing the patient to communicate naturally with the new limb.”

Scientific American

MIT researchers have developed a surgical technique that could make prosthetic limbs feel more natural, writes Karen Weintraub for Scientific American. “With this approach, we’re very confident that the human will actually feel position, will actually feel speed, will actually feel force,” says Prof. Hugh Herr. “It’ll completely feel like their own limb.”

Guardian

Guardian reporter Nicola Davis spotlights Prof. Hugh Herr’s development of an autonomous exoskeleton device that could reduce the amount of energy humans use to walk. “We are taking a first principle approach, and joint by joint understanding deeply what has to be done scientifically and technologically to augment a human,” Herr explains. 

Wired

Writing for Wired, Juan Enriquez highlights the MIT Center for Extreme Bionics, which was launched in an effort to develop technologies that augment human performance and could help eliminate disabilities. Enriquez writes that the center’s “long-term ambitions are breathtaking.”

CNN

CNN’s Jessica Ravitz describes how MIT researchers are working with surgeons from Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital to outfit a patient with a prosthetic limb that can be controlled by the brain. The patient will have “wireless sensors implanted in his muscles, which will integrate with the robotic prosthetic being created for him.”

Boston Herald

MIT researchers are developing a bionic prosthesis that can be controlled by the wearer’s brain waves, reports Marie Szaniszlo for The Boston Herald. Graduate student Tyler Clites explains that the limb’s “versatility goes far beyond the technology that is currently available.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz writes that MIT researchers are developing a prosthetic limb that can be controlled by the user’s brain waves. Researchers in Prof. High Herr’s lab collaborated with surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to “devise an amputation surgery that could prepare a limb for a brain-controlled prosthetic.” 

ABC News

ABC News visits Prof. Hugh Herr’s lab to explore his work developing bionic limbs aimed at augmenting human capabilities and ending “profound human suffering caused by disability.” Herr says he “always had the dream of developing exoskeletal structures that would enable anyone to walk with less energy, run with less energy, move faster with complete ease.” 

The Atlantic

In an article for The Atlantic, Jessa Gamble highlights MIT alumnus David Sengeh’s work, which is focused on designing better-fitting prosthetics by examining a patient’s internal anatomy using MRI technology. “We’ve been able to make the [world’s] first socket entirely from quantitative methods,” says Sengeh. “No human hands were involved in defining the shape, including the cut lines and material properties of the socket.”

Associated Press

Prof. Hugh Herr has been named the recipient of Spain’s 2016 Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, according to the AP. Herr’s achievements “have had a major impact on people with disabilities, through adaptive knee prostheses for femoral amputees, and ankle-and-foot orthopedic prostheses for those with clubfoot or disabilities caused by cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis.”