We often do not think about how the feeling of touch makes our life. We hold a paper coffee cup with great force to hold it, but do not crush it. Our tribe is always looking for a place. But for people with artificial hands or spinal cord injuries, a hand massage can mean the world. Let’s learn about how advancements in prosthetics will look in the future.
But what about those who have lost their hand or feet in an accident, or what about people disabled from birth? Do not they have the right to live an independent life?
We are all independent and want to be independent, whether physically or mentally. Everyone is born with the right to be independent, but are disabled allowed to be independent because of their disabilities? Do they also have the right to live an independent life?
Well, of course, they do. But their disabilities certainly make it a tad bit difficult. But not anymore, and all thanks to science and also our perfect engineers, who make life easy for physically disabled people.
With the help of technology, physically disabled people can run, walk, climb, and write. They can do everything like a normal person.
Thank you to the advancement of technology, all physically disabled people are now able to live an independent, happy, and successful lives.
One such invention is ‘prosthetics’, which make life easy for all disabled people. Prosthetics are things that help all physically disabled people to live a normal life. Here we will talk about the advances in prosthetics. Also how prosthetics help us and about their history. Let’s start.
What exactly are prostheses?
A prosthesis is an attachment to the body. It is an alternative or replacement for an organ that has been lost due to an accident or congenital disability.
1. Types of Prosthetics
Prostheses come in many different designs. There are the following types of prostheses;
I. Transtibial prostheses: There are mainly two types of systems in Transtibial prostheses. The first type is a transtibial prosthesis with closure systems. It provides patients with a pin closure system. The second system is the knee vacuum system. It fully supports the patient by suctioning the prosthesis.
III.Below elbow prosthetics
IV. Above elbow prosthesis
The fitting of prostheses to the patient is as needed. The base of fitting prostheses to the patient is the patient’s medical condition.
Also, prostheses help physically disabled people in many ways. They give them confidence and freedom of movement. But what is the history of these amazing prostheses, let us look into the details.
2. History of Prosthetics
Mention of the prosthesis is done in many ancient writings, and also in war or accidents, when a certain part of a person’s body is broken, the use of certain artificial wooden parts as replacements is done.
Moreover, there are many ancient paintings in which a person with prostheses can be seen. The use of prostheses was done in very ancient times.
Over time, leather instead of wood has been used. This was done to make the prostheses more comfortable. The bronze leg is the oldest leg prosthesis. It is made of bronze metal and that is why it’s a bronze leg.
As time went by, the prostheses became lighter and lighter as they could. To make it more comfortable, in the prosthesis holes were present so that they were breathable.
Between the 15th and 18th centuries, other prostheses similar to hands or limbs were developed. The hands were rigid. The fingers moved together in one direction.
In the 16th century, Ambrose Perret, a French surgeon, developed the most advanced prostheses. He is known as the father of prosthetics.
In the 19th century, the prosthetic arm was developed. Control of the prosthetic was done by the remaining part of the elbow. The folding of these artificial parts became easier over time.
In prosthetics, the joint pad serves to protect the remaining parts of the tissue. The material of the joint pad was a shock absorber.
Prosthetic legs become more comfortable over time.
The discovery of the anaesthetic properties of chloroform was in 1842. Also by using the anesthetic chloroform, it becomes possible to fix prostheses surgically.
After that, prostheses became more and more comfortable for patients.
3. Prosthetics in the 21st Century
Prosthetics are constantly evolving. Moreover, these prostheses are better than their predecessors. The history of prosthetics shows that prostheses are nothing new. And then it feels like “THE NECESSITY IS MOTHER OF INVENTIONS”.
More advanced forms of prosthetics were discovered in the 21st century. One of them is electro-prosthetics.
The movement of these electric prostheses is much easier for patients. The transmission of the electrical impulse of the remaining part of the organ to the prosthesis happens. The impulse transmitted to the electrodes of the prosthesis helps them to move.
Athletes who participate in competition mainly use Hydraulic prostheses. However, these hydraulic prostheses store energy inside them. The structure of this prosthesis helps athletes to perform well.
4. Modern Prostheses
Modern prostheses are primarily user-friendly. And these also have cosmetic components. Also, they are more like skin. Since they feel like a part of the body, it is not uncomfortable for the patient. Modern prostheses are also lightweight.
Modern prostheses give patients the freedom to move the way they want. Again, we will talk about the advances in prosthetics. How are prosthetics becoming more advanced every day?
5. Advancements in Prosthetics
We have talked about the history of prosthetics. Now we know how prosthetics are improving day by day.
Originally, the use of these prostheses was done only as replacements. But now use of them is also for replacing organs. Thank you to these modern prosthetics, physically disabled people are now superhumans. Let us explore how modern prosthetics are changing lives.
Bionics is one of the types of modern prosthetics. In earlier modern prosthetics, the movement of artificially attached organs was possible. Later, the discussion of new ideas for sensor technology started.
Not only the movement but also the implementation of the introduction of the sense of touch. In this type of prosthetics, Bionics are like real organs. They can move and they can also feel the sense of touch. Also, these Bionics are getting more advanced day by day.
Flexible sensors are built into these bionics. These flexible sensors mimic the sensory properties of the skin. The dermis is replaced by the e-dermis.
The top layer of this artificial skin is the nociceptive layer. The feeling of Pain sensation can occur through it. Next, comes the mechanoreceptors. They provide information about how hard you press.
To regain the sense of touch, the patient’s nerves are first mapped. The transmission of the sense of touch happens from the dermis to the brain. Today, the use of this bionic skin is in almost all types of prosthetic devices. For example, the bionic hand, and bionic limbs.
Here we will talk about bionic limbs
6.1. Bionic limbs
The connection of the bionic limbs to the body is by plastic skin. Bionic limbs generally have three main characteristics. The first is mechanical, the second is dynamic, and the electrical
6.1.1. Mechanical Part.
The mechanical part is about the attachment of the bionic limb to the human body. The perfect design that can support the load of the body. Also, the balance of the body should be perfect.
This bionic is a mirror image. Where the body is stiff, the skin is soft. Where the skin is hard, the body is soft. Mirror image creation happens like this.
The exoskeleton is an important part of the limbs. The exoskeleton creates muscle-like torque. This helps with the movements. Moreover, these bionic limbs are also very helpful for athletes.
The bionic limbs challenge human walking. Bionic limbs are better than human walking because they use less metabolic energy.
6.1.2. Electric Part.
Next, we will talk about the electrical part. Here we will think about the question: How do bionic limbs communicate with the nervous system?
The attachment of electrodes to the brain of the patient is present. This electrode measures the electrical impulse of the muscle.
Whenever the patient wants to move the bionic stump, the electrodes detect signals from the muscles, and the artificial leg moves.
The use of the same type of phenomenon in all other bionic devices such as hand bionics, is present.
7. Advanced Prosthetics
We are aware of how the sense of touch makes our lives beautiful. From holding a delicate flower to carrying a heavy suitcase, the sense of touch guides us in how much pressure to apply.
But people who wear prosthetic limbs are not able to have a sense of touch. But with the introduction of robotics in prosthetics, it is possible for patients also to feel a sense of touch.
As we know, the human brain is the most complex structure in the known universe. Even though technology has invented the way prosthetics can provide the sense of touch.
For this purpose, it is necessary to stimulate the appropriate nerves. When these very nerves are electrically stimulated, the activation of thousands of nerves simultaneously happens.
The implantation of electrodes above the brain is done. The electrodes translate the movement into computer language. The same electrodes translate the feeling of touch from the computer into human language, which is how the prosthesis works.
Although this technology is still in its early stages, later, when it is more advanced, it will be easier and more comfortable, taking the place of human limbs and hands.
7.1. Bionic Skin
To restore the feeling of touch, the bionic skin is developing. The basis of the development of bionic skin is the development of the e-dermis. This dermis mimics the function of human skin
People who have lost their limbs in an accident suffer from phantom limb pain. Phantom limb pain is essentially the feeling that the hand or arm is no longer there.
The nervous system of amputees is still looking for nerve signals from that body part.
By carefully studying the way the body receives and relays signals from a body part, scientists also tried to mimic these things with an artificial input device.
This can be done through a sclera. The placement of sensor crisps in this leather skin mimics natural human skin.
This kind of advancement in prosthetics leads to the creation of a masterpiece of invention. In the future, advanced robotics and modern techniques will produce better prosthetics than today.
8. Budget-friendly Prosthetics
One of the biggest problems with these prosthetics is budget. Most of the modern advanced prostheses are too expensive. If these prostheses become cheaper, only people from all stages of the community will be able to use the advancement of technology.
But now, many companies like ”Unlimited Tomorrow” are focusing on developing the most advanced and affordable prostheses. Because of them, every disabled can move.
The real limb is also a budget-friendly prosthesis. In India, the Jaipur foot, invented by Doctor Pramod Sethi, is a budget-friendly option. Jaipur Foot also has modern technology. It is the most loved option by Indians. Also, different varieties of prosthetics are there in Jaipur Foot.
9. 3D Printed Prostheses
As mentioned earlier, many advanced prosthetics are too expensive. In humans, body size and girth increase until the age of 18. In such cases, the prosthesis cannot remain as it is, especially in children.
For such cases, 3D-printed prostheses are the salvation. Moreover, 3D-printed prostheses are inexpensive. These dentures are highly customizable. Moreover, they do not cause pain to the patients. Also, the fitting of 3D-printed prostheses is precise to the limbs.
Patients appreciate these comfortable prostheses. The 3D-printed prosthetic arm is more comfortable and less noticeable.
Here, the first step is the scanning of the patient’s other arm with a 3D scanner. Using the scanned images, the company makes exactly similar customizable prosthetic arms. There are many skin tones available. The skin tone of the arm exactly matches the patient’s skin tone.
The design of the smallest parts of the prosthesis is very well. Everything is similar to the patient, from the nails to the skin tone. The 3D prostheses become more sensitive day by day. Detection of even a single signal from the muscle is possible.
10. Applications of Prosthetics
So, above we have talked about modern prosthetics and its advances. Prosthetics is quite fascinating. Whenever we see prosthetics, we feel that science can achieve anything.
Disabled can sense the feeling of feeling through prosthetics. 3D-printed prostheses are extremely helpful for physically disabled children because they are easy to wear.
Prosthetic limbs help physically challenged people to do anything they want. Prostheses are the hope for all disabled patients. Due to prosthetics disabled people get hope of living. In the future, more advanced prosthetics will be there.
The good thing about technology is that no matter what progress it has made, it has not stopped. It continues to improve day by day. Prostheses are saviours. Let us hope that prosthetics will become more advanced day by day and will be able to replace human organs.
The history of prosthetics makes us think that some people may not have had an arm or a limb or something in ancient times. But again they had hoped to survive. And not only hoped but had to find ways to overcome the situation. In a very similar way, modern man is also making progress.
To all physically handicapped people, I would like to say that you are not handicapped, but your mind is handicapped. If you finally accept the fact that nothing can stop you, with a lot of self-confidence, if you stand up for yourself, prostheses are there to help you.
In Human rights, every person in this world should have the right to live a healthy life without any disability. Finally, helping hands must come from every part of the community, for every part of the community.
Even though prosthetic technology is becoming more advanced every day, what good is it if it does not reach every part of the community?
Every part of the community, from rich to poor, from children to adults. Again if technology reaches everyone, we can all say that we are making progress.
Now the picture is changing. Prosthetics are becoming more advanced day by day. Robotics will improve prosthetics. The company PSYCHONIC also focuses on creating affordable prosthetics.
Lastly, In the future let’s hope that no one will be disabled. Also, everyone will have the right to live a disability-free life. Again Prosthetics, Bionics, 3D-printed prosthetics, and Robotic arms are the hope for things. Robotics will give us a new vision of prosthetics. Also, bionics can be an option
Lastly, let us thanks all the scientists and engineer for making technology better day by day, and for making Disabled lives easy and comfortable. Also For giving a ray of hope to all the disabled. Finally, modern prosthetics are becoming more advanced too. This also gives strength to the handicapped.
I hope this article is useful to all of you. What’s your opinion about modern prosthetics? What’s more, advancements can be made in modern prosthetics. How can we make the prosthetic more budget-friendly?
Also, let me know in the comment section. Don’t forget to share this article.