Artificial organs and body parts

28Sep10

Damaged organs and limbs can now be replaced with man-made devices. Already on the market are mechanical hearts, arms and legs, bionic eyes that restore at least partial vision and ear implants that make deaf people hear. Technology continues to break new ground, and the ultimate interface between machine and man’s organ of perception — the brain — may not be too far down the road.

Click here to view interactive graphic on Electric Acoustic Stimulation, a cochlear implant

Still in development (as of the time this graphic was published in 2005) is an artificial kidney that can perform the kidney’s metabolic and hormonal functions that the patient lost with the onset of acute renal failure, an artificial liver that will clear the blood of deadly toxins and implantable thoracic artificial lung that will work as long-term solution to such chronic lung diseases as emphysema and cystic fibrosis.

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INTERACTIVE: EXPLOITING HOLES IN THE DRUG APPROVAL PROCESS

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Story and graphic by Alfred Elicierto, published in the MIlwaukee Journal Sentinel on June 6, 2005.

Sources: University of Michigan Health System; Cigna Health Care; Australian College of Surgeons; BBC News Online; HowStuffWorks.com; NewScientist.com; BetterHumans; Abiomed; Future Magazine; bionicear.com; PhysicsWeb; WiredNews; ScienceDaily; news@nature.com; The Newton Bee
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Also in this blog:
Treating gunshot wounds
Chemo’s effects on the brain
Recalling the Nimrod air crash in Lake Ontario
The war in Afghanistan
Re-engineering a heart afflicted with left heart syndrome
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