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Building A Bionic Human


Building A Bionic Human
Advances in technology make it possible to build limbs with components that mimic the function of the skeleton, musculature, tendons and nerves of the human body. Meanwhile, the sensory system can be replicated with microphones, cameras, pressure sensors and electrodes. Even that most vital organ, the heart, can be replaced with a hydraulic pump. Some of the newest technologies are so advanced that the components actually outperform their biological counterparts.


The future of bionics
1 3D-printed organs
3D printing is the future of manufacturing and biologists are adapting the technology in order to print using living human cells. The cells are laid down in alternating layers alongside a transparent gel-like scaffold material. As the cells fuse, the scaffold disappears.
2 Ekso skeleton
Ekso Bionics has made bionic exoskeletons to allow people with lower limb paralysis to walk. Ekso supports their body and uses motion sensors to monitor gestures and then translate them into movement.
3 Artificial kidney
The University of California, San Francisco, is developing a bionic kidney. At about the size of a baseball, it contains silicone screens with nano-drilled holes to filter blood as it passes. It will also contain a population of engineered kidney cells.
4 Man-made immunity
Leuko-polymersomes are plastic ‘smart particles’ that mimic cells of the immune system. They are being designed to stick to inflammatory markers in the body and could be used to target drug delivery to infections and cancer.
5 Robotic blood cells
The Institute for Molecular Manufacturing is developing nanotechnology that could increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. Known as respirocytes, the cells are made atom by atom – mostly from carbon.