View Full Version : Scientists create 'bionic' woman

Billy Boy
15-Sep-06, 17:26
Scientists in Chicago claim to have created the world's first bionic woman.
Claudia Mitchell, 25, who lost her left arm in a motorbike crash has been fitted with a robotic limb that she can operate by thought alone.
The former marine says the operations has changed her life.
"It has changed my life just with the simple task of being able to hold fruit or vegetables in my hand while I chop them or peel a banana," she said.
"I actually cut steak for the first time, last night - so folding clothes, carrying laundry baskets, simple things that you would have no idea that mean so much, I have been able to do those."
Claudia was originally fitted with a conventional prosthetic arm which used a series of wires and chin buttons to manipulate movement.
But the work involved to operate the arm was not worth the function it provided her so she often ended up going without it.
"It was very frustrating, it was hard to get it to work right and really a challenge so challenging I often, more often than not opted not to use it," she said.
She then read about a revolutionary bionic arm technology developed by Doctor Todd Kuiken of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
The procedure involves grafting shoulder nerves, which used to go to the amputated arm, to their pectoral muscles in the chest.
The grafts receive thought-generated impulses, and the muscle activity is picked up by electrodes.
Dr Kuiken said the electrodes relay the signals to the arm's computer, which causes motors to move the elbow and hand, mimicking a normal arm.
The US Defense Department is hoping to soon offer the bionic arms to soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More than 400 American troops have lost at least one limb while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The US military's research-and-development wing is joining the National Institute of Health in supporting the research into the bionic arm.