4 Incredible Inventions in the Med Tech Industry that Sound Like Science Fiction
Some recent breakthroughs in medical technology are astounding. The firms that created these innovations are working in areas that seem like science fiction, yet these inventions are real. The products coming from these innovations are likely to change health care significantly.
Here are a few of the most interesting recent developments in medical technology:
Medication Delivery by Implants
Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc. created a device for implantation under the skin that automatically delivers medication needed to control Type II diabetes.
Human Tissues Printed by a 3-D Bioprinter
Organovo has nine patent applications for the technology and methods of bioprinting living human tissues, such as liver tissue. The initial efforts of Organovo were to bioprint living human tissue that is useful when conducting pre-clinical trials of pharmaceuticals. This bioprinted tissue provides a better simulation of what may occur in the human body, which is superior to using mice models for pre-clinical trial testing. During 2015, Organovo partnered with L’Oreal on a project to bioprint human skin. In the future, Organovo plans to be able to print living 3-D human organs for transplantation.
Second Sight has ten patent applications for a system that creates visual stimulus for those who are completely blind from the disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Patients wear a special set of glasses that have an embedded video camera. The camera sends a signal to a computer chip surgically implanted behind in the eye, which is turn, passes the information on to the brain. These bionic eyes currently allow the perception of light and shadows, and images that are pixelated in shades of gray. Resolution improvements will come in the future. The reaction by patients, who can see something again by wearing the device, is remarkable.
Open Bionics developed a 3-D printed bionic hand that cost thirty times less than other prosthetics on the market and takes only 48 hours to print. They collaborated with the Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm, who donated the work efforts of their artistic design teams and royalty-free licenses to make these prosthetics for children. Inspiration for the fantastic designs came from Marvel’s Iron Man character, Star Wars lightsabers, and a snowflake design based on Disney’s “Frozen” animation film. Children who are missing limbs will be proud to show off these amazing prosthetics.
Medical technology continues to advance in spectacular, almost unbelievable ways, especially with the advent of 3-D bioprinting technology. Bionic enhancement of human beings is no longer just a concept of science fiction. It has become a reality.