"Bionic Man" Showcases Medical Research
The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) recently launched the "Bionic Man" an interactive web tool showcasing the latest research advances in biotechnology.
It features fourteen technologies being developed by NIBIB-supported researchers. Examples include a powered prosthetic leg that helps users achieve a more natural gait, a wireless brain-computer interface that lets people with paralyzed legs and arms control computer devices or robotic limbs using only their thoughts, and a micro-patch that delivers vaccines painlessly and doesn't need refrigeration.
Flexible Electrodes Record Brain's Activity
Implantable Sensors for Prosthesis Control
Robotic Leg Prosthesis
Tongue Drive System
"The NIBIB Bionic Man showcases some amazing technological advances. It is designed to teach us about the inventive ways in which scientists and engineers have developed methods for improved detection and treatment of a variety of illnesses. All of these innovative advances have been supported by public funding and provide specific examples of the public's return on investment in biomedical research. Our overarching goal is to have a transformative impact on the health and well-being of the nation."
—Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D., is Director of the NIH's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).
Other Innovative Advances
A light sensitive biogel and biological adhesive help new cartilage grow and become functional.
Blood Clot Emulator
A blood clot emulator can be used to optimize ventricular assist devices to reduce the risk of blood clots.
An artificial kidney could be used in place of kidney dialysis for treatment of end-stage kidney disease.
This microneedle patch delivers vaccines painlessly and doesn’t require refrigeration.
Interstitial Pressure Sensor
Interstitial pressure sensor could help doctors determine optimal times for delivering chemotherapy/radiation to cancer patients.
Glucose-sensing contacts could provide a non-invasive solution for continuous blood sugar monitoring.
Wireless Brain-Computer Interface
The wireless brain-computer interface records and transmits brain activity wirelessly and could allow people with paralysis to use their thoughts to control robotic arms or other devices.
Synthetic Tissue Adhesive
A synthetic glue modeled after an adhesive found in nature could be used to repair tissues in the body.
Opening the Blood Brain Barrier with Ultrasound
Focused ultrasound could be used to temporarily open the blood brain barrier to let gene therapy treatments reach the brain.
Spinal Stimulation for Paralysis
Electrical stimulation of the spinal cord is being used in individuals with paralysis to help restore voluntary movement and other functions.