Bionics products are a tangible source in the Biotech market. It is evolving with developments, sounding like they came right out of Science fiction. We slowly prefer bionics over traditional medicine. Because of having creative innovators and proper manufacturing platforms, Bionics has shown astounding futuristic inventions that are worth talking about. Here is a list of some:
1. Artificial Heart
Even though the artificial heart was invented 70 years ago, there were still a lot of complications like blood clots and hemorrhages. Now, this has been tackled successfully by using bioprosthetic materials.
This heart, which is said to Cost approximately €150,000, was made using biological tissues that are also intelligent with blood pressure measurements and can adapt the heart rate to the body’s needs. Till now, four patients have received artificial hearts. It is considered a technological miracle as it might be able to save a lot of lives in the future.
2. Google Lens
The Google Lens was developed in Google[x], Google’s secret lab by Brian Otis and Babak Parviz. It consists of a wireless chip and a small glucose sensor. There is a small hole in the lens, which allows the tearing of the fluid to seep into the sensor for measuring blood sugar levels. It also has a wireless antenna thinner than a human’s hair for communicating information to the wireless device.
Then there is Intarcia Implant
This insulin implant is another bizarre invention that replaces the need for Diabetes type I patients to have daily injections. It uses a simple mechanism that can save patients from all the hassle and discomfort they go through due to Diabetes.
3. Bionic Eyes
A company based in France has made the IRIS system that involves an intraocular implant that is surgically inserted into the eye and gets attached to the surface of the retina. A pair of glasses containing an integrated mini-camera and wireless transmitter is given to the patient.
These are connected to a pocket computer, which helps in processing the image captured by the camera into a signal that is transferred back through the glasses and projected onto the retinal implant to stimulate the optic nerve and generate the images. The bionic eye might be a boon for people suffering from blindness
4. Smart Bone
Biotech IBI, based in Switzerland, has invented artificial bone, also known as SmartBone. It is used as a grafting material for bone reconstructive surgery. The smart bone is just like a human bone in strength, shape, and movement. It is produced by the combination of natural mineral bone structures with bioactive polymers and cell nutrients.
This allows the patient’s cells to grow quickly and efficiently into SmartBone while the artificial biopolymers degrade, therefore providing a perfect integration scaffold for bone regrowth.
5. 3D Printed Prosthetic
Around the world, there are about 2 million hand amputees. This has led to inventing cheaper, lighter, and easier to manufacture prosthetic is a huge area of interest in Medical technology.
A company called Open Bionics has created an innovative 3D printed medical splint that is made by PLA and Ninja Flex (a thermoplastic elastomer) on a desktop 3D printer. The estimated cost for the material is about €2.75.
6. The Pancreas
Now there is an option for replacing the entire organ in Diabetes. A research team from the University of Cambridge has managed to develop a closed-loop beta-cell based insulin delivery system for diabetes type I. This bionic pancreas prototype has been constructed for human trials with the help of iPhone app that helps to monitors blood glucose levels.
7. Organ Chips
Organs-on-Chips might one day replace the need for animal testing in pre-clinical drug trials. These microchips are considered ‘organs’ as they have perfused chambers of living cells that are arranged to simulate living tissues and function at the organ level in their physiology.
So far, the organs which have been replicated to the 3D microchip level include Heart, Liver, Lungs, Gut, and also Bone Marrow. These are all made into microfluidic cell culture-devices, which is Bionic!
8. Artificial Skin
Different companies are using bioprinters loaded with biomaterials like bacteria or undifferentiated cell types for developing artificial skin. Bioprinting helps in the construction of tissues layer by layer, and each layer contains the relevant cell types and has dimensions that are approximate to those of the patients’ tissue. These tissues can be applicable for providing multiple functions. The technology is making skin grafts for burn victims as Bioprinters are used directly for printing grafts onto patient injuries. The advantage of the printer is that you can deliver cells more accurately and precisely.
3D Printing is revolutionizing science and making Science fiction real, but till when?
With patents, heavy demand, and expensive manufacturing processes, will Regenerative medicine be sustainable? Maybe Bionics is making a slow, yet inevitable paradigm shift in Modern Medicine.