Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/27/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Previously, only mind-controlled bionic arms were available

In what is being heralded as "a groundbreaking development," by lead author Levi Hargrove, a biomedical engineer and research scientist at RIC, the first successful trials of a bionic leg have proved successful. Test subject 32-year-old Zac Vawter, having lost his lower right leg in a motorcycle accident years ago, has been fitted with an artificial limb that uses neur-osignals from his upper leg muscles to control the prosthetic knee and ankle.

The new prosthesis allows a normal, smooth gait no matter the incline, quite unlike the previous robotic models currently on the market.

The new prosthesis allows a normal, smooth gait no matter the incline, quite unlike the previous robotic models currently on the market.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/27/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Bionic, leg, limbs, Zac Vawter, breakthrough


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The limb is the first thought-controlled bionic leg. "It allows people to seamlessly transition between walking along level ground and going up and down stairs and slopes," Hargrove says.

According to scientists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, only thought-controlled bionic arms have been available to amputees.

Vawter, fitted with an experimental "bionic" leg, climbed the 103 flights to the top of Willis Tower in Chicago in October of last year.

When Vawter thinks he wants to move his leg, the brain signal travels down his spinal cord and through peripheral nerves. This is then picked up by electrodes in the bionic leg.

The prosthesis allows a normal, smooth gait no matter the incline, quite unlike the previous robotic models currently on the market. The cost of the limb has not yet been determined - but a version could be available to the more than one million Americans with leg amputations within three to five years. 

"It makes a phenomenal difference," Vawter says, a software engineer from Yelm, Washington. Becoming aware of the institute's work on bionic arms, Vawter and his surgeon contacted Hargrove and the team developing the prosthesis. Vawter would travel to the institute periodically over the next few years.

Vawter would remove his mechanical leg, slip into the bionic one, and run through a set of experiments the scientists devised. After multiple revisions to the leg's software and two major revisions to the leg's mechanics, Vawter says he can walk up and down stairs the way prior to the amputation.

"My sound leg goes up every step first, and I'm just dragging the prosthetic leg along behind me." But with the bionic leg, "I go leg over leg," he says. "The bionic leg listens to the various signals from my nerves and responds in a much more natural way."

The thought-controlled bionic leg is highly sophisticated. In additional to mechanical sensors, it has two motors, complex software, and a set of electrodes - essentially antennae - in its socket that pick up the tiny electrical signals that muscles in the upper leg generate when they contract.

In the process, two electrodes pick up signals from the hamstring muscle, where the nerves that had run through Vawter's lower leg were redirected during the amputation. "So when Zac is thinking about moving his ankle, his hamstring contracts," Hargrove says.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Health

Obesity: It isn't just deadly, but each year it costs the globe TWO TRILLION! Watch

Image of Obesity is the third largest economic burden on the world, just $.1 trillion behind the costs of smoking and war and terrorism.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It should come as no surprise to anyone that terrorism and war hurt the global economy. What is incredible is that just behind them in terms of actual cost is smoking, and obesity. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new report from the economic consulting firm ... continue reading


Creation of John Paul II Medical Research Institute

By Alan B. Moy, MD

The Catholic Church has a long-standing history in health care, education and medical research. The Church was the first during the Middle Ages to create the university system and medical centers. Some of the early scientists were clergymen like Gregor Mendel, who was ... continue reading


Welcome to the horrifying future where women are used and abortion rampant Watch

Image of In the future, according to one dire prediction, babies will come from test tubes and sex will be purely for recreation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The professor and chemist who invented the birth control pill has now claimed that advances in IVF will render the pill obsolete allowing people to plan pregnancies and engage in sex for recreational purposes only. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Prof. Carl ... continue reading


Eat healthy, exercise and take statins - and live to be 120 years old Watch

Image of A

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While immortality still remains out of reach by scientific standards, some scientists now say they have worked out how we could make it to 120. Exercising more, eating healthy and taking statins they claim are key to slowing the aging process. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Dignity Health loses moral compass, settles overcharge scandal for $37 million Watch

Image of Catholic facilities, built and supported by Catholics, should remain Catholic.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The San Francisco-based Dignity Health hospital chain has agreed to pay a $37 million settlement to clear up allegations that they overcharged patients between 2006 and 2010. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dignity Health, a chain of 13 hospitals that was built by ... continue reading


'Elite controllers' claim that they can spontaneously 'cure' HIV Watch

Image of AIDS/HIV remains a scourge throughout the African continent and homosexual men in urban areas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's another claim made by researchers about a disease that continues to devastate the world. Scientists say they have uncovered the genetic mechanism which appeared to have led two HIV-infected men to experience a "spontaneous cure - and that the discovery ... continue reading


Sierra Leone sees Ebola cases 'spreading quickly' Watch

Image of There have been 2,413 Ebola deaths in Liberia, 1,510 in Sierra Leone, 1,018 in Guinea and eight in Nigeria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While in other parts of West Africa, new Ebola cases appear to be tapering off, new cases continue to rise "frighteningly quickly" in areas of Sierra Leone. The international campaign group the Africa Governance Initiative, or AGI found that in rural parts of ... continue reading


'Hyper-connected' brain created by popular hallucinogen 'Magic Mushrooms' Watch

Image of Some magic mushroom users have reported tasting colors, seeing noises or feeling smells.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A popular, if illegal natural hallucinogen, "magic mushrooms" inspired the art and music of the hippie counter-cultural generation. Scientists now claim they are closer to understanding why magic mushrooms cause people to have such intense creative and even ... continue reading


Convenient and easy! Why your next trip to the dentist could prove a lifesaver Watch

Image of A new study out of UCLA has shown that genetic molecules that can signal an early warning for certain diseases can actually be found in saliva as well as blood.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Soon, dentists may be able to test for diseases such as cancer, dementia, Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes or even auto-immune diseases, a new report from the University of California Los Angeles, has revealed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. David Wong, the ... continue reading


Meet the 25 men who've fought off strokes, heart disease and dementia Watch

Image of A new study of 25 seniors shows that a healthy lifestyle of moderate drinking, exercise and dieting, can lead to much healthier later years, and reduce the risk of diseases.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retirees in Britain may have found the key to a fit and happy old age, after practicing a new health regime for the last 35 years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Back in 1979, 2,500 men were asked to eat well, work out, drink less, maintain a healthy weight and ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 5:1-10
1 I saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:41-44
41 In reply Jesus said, 'Faithless and perverse ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 20th, 2014 Image

St. Edmund Rich
November 20: Archbishop of Canterbury England, who battled for discipline and ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter