You are on page 1of 20

BIONICS

From human limitations, to


potentials

III

PIKESH PRASOON

1104150

ETC-

SCHOOL OF ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING, KIIT

Introduction
Since time immemorial, human has done inventions to mimic the
Mother Nature. Necessities has forced him to discover
technologies to help the ailing society. So, it must be accepted
that if social disabilities persist, the person is not crippled; rather
the technology is crippled, broken. A century ago, Tuberculosis
had no cure. Surely, technology that time was crippled!
Many people around us challenge the physical disabilities like
deafness, blindness, amputations, etc. But we are not bestowed
with regeneration capabilities to overcome these. The technology
remained crippled for many years until research in STEM CELLS,
BIONICS, and SENSORY SUBSTITUTION took place.
Bionics has been practically implemented and many people have
overcome their disability to much extent by this technology.

What is Bionics?
Bionics - as the name suggests is the interplay of BIOlogy and
electrONICS. By dictionary, bionics means comprising or made
up of artificial body parts that enhance or substitute for a natural
biological capability[1]. Generally, a mechatronic prosthetic system
is interfaced to the biological body to overcome the disability.
It is seen in most of the cases that even if the body part is not
working well (say the ear, eye or body part is amputated), the part
of brain responsible for controlling it, works fine. So, if one is
amputated, his brains motor cortex works fine. Bionics exploits
this idea. As ideology, it believes that the signals from the brain
could be extracted, deciphered and then implemented by
mechatronic prosthetic system . Even more, it believes sending
back the feedback/stimulus to brain, say by the prosthetic system.

History[2]
1958 : The first artificial pacemaker by Wilson Greatbatch
1971 :Bausch & Lomb develop the worlds first soft contact lens.
1978 :The multi-channel cochlear implant, which allows the recipient to hear by mimicking the
function of the cochlea, is
first used.
1983 : A person born blind implanted with bionic eye by Joao Lobo Antunes
2000 :An artificial silicon retina is implanted into a human eye. The artificial retina is made from
silicon microchips
which contain thousands of tiny light-converting units.
2001 :Amputee Jesse Sullivan receives a fully robotic arm developed by the Rehabilitation Institute of
Chicago. The arm has a nerve muscle graft which allows him to use his own thoughts to move the
artificial limb.
2002 : Argus I, Bionic Eye, clinically tested on 6 patients
2002 : Project Cyborg - Array of 100 Electrodes implanted to nervous system of Kevin Warwick. The
signal produced was
transmitted, and felicitated a prosthetic arm to mimic Warwicks hand
movements. Later Warwicks nervous system was connected to internet.
2004 :

The Rheo Knee, Hugh Herr, Bionic Knee for walking, running.

2006 :

Argus II, Bionic Eye, approved for commercial use in Europe.

PROSTHETIC
LIMB
Human Limitation: Due to accidents in military scenarios, road, trekking, etc 10

million people worldwide[3] has been victimized to amputation (till September, 2008). Due
to this moral, physical, social, and economic life of the victim gets affected and slowed.

Technological Milestones 1
Human potential : Bionics based Prosthetic Limb

Bionics in
Prosthesis
HOW DOES THE MOTION IN HUMAN OCCUR ACTUALLY ?
Upper motor neurons(Cortico-spinal) inter-neurons arise from the motor cortex
and descend to the spinal cord. They activate the lower motor-neurons through
synapses. These lower motor neurons innervate the muscles. The alpha motor
neurons innervate the extrafusal muscle fibers. These muscle fibers cause fast
and rough motion. The gamma motor neurons are responsible for precise motion.
HOW DOES BIONICS INCORPORATE IT ?
Bionics uses the fact that even if a part is amputated, the concerned brain
portion works fine. In case of amputated hand/legs or other locomotors,
the MOTOR CORTEX works fine. It exploits this fact that lower motor neurons
innervate the muscle fibers. So if some mechanism is involved that could get
signals from these innervated nerves (that cause motion) prosthesis could be
given a new dimension.

HOW DOES BIONICS INCORPORATE IT ?

contd..

Using surface electrodes, EMG, EEG sensors that could


read the signals from nerve. They are generally stickered
to human body muscle (hand/leg/thighs). In some cases
they could be injected inside the body. In Project Cyborg
100 electrodes were implanted in the nervous system.

Analysis of advancement:
Many nerves innervate the muscles responsible for control and
precision of movement. Still among the many electrical signals sent
from brain for motion, we make use of few that gives the prosthetic
design to function roughly. For more preciseness we need to decipher
among many electrical signals and noise, the meaning of
instructions.
The hand has 27 degrees of freedom naturally. Still, we are not able
to achieve the number. The system remains underactuated.
Research work is under process to use other muscles to control body
parts. Ex: neck muscles could control the movement of prosthetic
hand. This needs rigorous training and research.
Sensing, or sending stimulations back to brain is still under research.

COCHLEAR IMPLANT
Human Limitation: Many persons worldwide are profoundly
deaf due to damage to sensory hair cells in the Cochleas.
More than 4 lacs people worldwide are deaf by this cause.

Technological Milestones 2
Human Potential : Cochlear Implant

Bionics in Cochlear
Implant
HOW DOES HEARING IN HUMAN OCCUR ACTUALLY ?
Ear is made of thousands of hair cells. They get stimulated by
sound and begin to vibrate, thereby passing electrical impulses to
cochlear/auditory nerve.
HOW DOES BIONICS INCORPORATE IT ?
In many cases of deafness (sensorineural), the hair cells do not
function well, and thus could not send signals to brain. Bionics,
which sees brain working fine, tries to sort out the issue with hair
cells. An external stimulator is used to stimulate the cochlear
nerve.

HOW DOES BIONICS INCORPORATE IT ?


Contd..

As stated the hair cells do not function


properly. As a solution, a lead of
electrodes is implanted in the ear. This
help in replication of what hair cells do.
The implantation may contain from 1 to
22 electrodes, each being
stimulated for different
frequencies and pitches. These
electrodes then stimulate the nerves,
thereby sending signals to brain. The
External System:
electrodes are wound through the
Microphone : Receives the sound frequencies.
cochlea.
Speech processor : Acts on the frequencies received, filters out the audio
frequency, divides the filtered output in channel and send to the transmitter.
Transmitter : Sends the channelized output to internally placed receiver.
Internal System: (Implanted Inside the ear)
Receiver : It receives the signal transmitted externally.
Stimulator: It converts the signal into electrical impulses and sends them via
internal cable to electrodes.
Electrodes : They send the impulse to the cochlear nerve.

Analysis of advancement:

The sound quality is not natural, as no o f electrodes used limit the natural
quality.
Research is still going on how the brain interprets loudness, quality,
direction of sound, and pitch of sound. Further advancements will lead to
improved efficiency in performance of Implants.
It is able to send feedback signal to brain as compared to prosthetic limb.

BIONIC EYE (VISUAL PROSTHESIS)


Human Limitation : Many persons lose their vision
partially or fully due to degraded photoreceptors.
Disabilities like Retinitis pigmentosa, choroideremia
cause human to lose their vision.

Technological Milestones 4
Human Potential : Bionic Eye (Ex
: Argus II)

Bionics in Bionic Eye

Analysis of advancement:
The biocompatibility of the implant and the human host is still under
research.
The stimulation caused by the ARCC (Artificial Retina Component
Chip) could affect the retinal and cortical tissue because of the
intensity needed to stimulate the nerve endings in order for a retinal
response.
Many further projects[4] are being researched for improvement in
retinal prosthesis.

Reference
s
Jeffrey Fox, Kim Edginton, Jennifer Wightman, Rebuilding the body with
bionics, http://www.cem.msu.edu/~cem181fp/brain/index.html
[1] Medical Dictionary, Merriam Webster, http://www.merriam-

webster.com/dictionary/bionic
[2] Lloyd Emma, The history of bionics, http://www.healthguideinfo.com/prostheticsbionics/p9070/,
Project Cyborg, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Warwick#Project_Cyborg, Argus ,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argus_retinal_prosthesis#History
[3] Maurice LeBlanc, https://web.stanford.edu/class/engr110/2011/LeBlanc-03a.pdf
[4] Visual Prosthesis/Ongoing Projects,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_prosthesis#Ongoing_projects

THANK YOU !!!!!