We are living in the era of neuroscience. And perhaps the most notable contribution of neuroscience to prosthetics in bionics. After the emergence of bionics, prosthetics as a tool of rehabilitation revolutionized. Prosthetics, after the fusion with bionics, is poised to grant an empowering experience. From being merely a cosmetic entity prosthetic has become the best mode of rehabilitation, post major amputations. In Spite of having these features, today’s bionic limbs are not perfect neither they satisfy the needs of an amputee completely. Thankfully, the machinery of progress is still active and the future holds promises beyond imaginations. This article will elaborate on the shortcomings of modern prostheses and the promises held by the future in terms of addressing these issues.
For the efficient functioning of a bionic prosthesis presence of relevant muscles are essential. Bionic prostheses are controlled by a powerful microcomputer, able to translate electromyographic information into actions and gestures depending on the hardware. Amputees who have already lost all the necessary muscles are ineligible for receiving a bionic enhancement.
The EMG sensors used for the detection of EMG data are applied in a non-invasive manner and limited to only receiving signal. In the future muscles might get bypassed by a more invasive neuromusculoskeletal sensor placement paradigm and the limitation might resolve.
The performance of a bionic prosthesis is rapidly evolving in synchrony with the demands of time. The Wielding experience of a bionic prosthesis is becoming better with each passing day. The materials in use are evolving alongside the hardware and computational capabilities of the prostheses. The actions a modern-day bionic limb can perform is limited to essential and simple gestures and holds but with time the complicated actions might become more commonplace.
Absence of sensory inputs
The non-invasive nature of sensor placement is undoubtedly hassle-free and easy to accept as a new enhancement. But the non-invasive characteristics prevent the sensors from reaching out to the sensory nerves. Processing of sensory information is thus out of question for a modern-day prosthesis. But with the neuromusculoskeletal sensor placement paradigm will definitely put an end to this crippling incompleteness and usher in a new generation of prostheses.
The future, in a nutshell, is undoubtedly bright for prostheses. The material in use is evolving as superhydrophobic materials and materials with high strength to weight ratios are being used extensively. Bionics is mainstream and till the emergence of 3D printed organs, it is poised to remain the only source of achieving rehabilitation post-amputation.
Bionics is constantly developing, and the future of bionic limbs are more agile, faster, more efficient and capable of many more actions. With the hike in performance, the wielding experience is destined to become more empowering and confidence-inspiring. Rehabilitation efforts with the help of bionics are already achieving success at an individual level. And soon, this success might reach a social or global stage with the promise of increased applicability.