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Medicine

Bionic Leg Undergoing Clinical Trials 86

fangmcgee writes "A 'bionic' leg designed for people who have lost a lower leg is undergoing clinical trials sponsored by the US Army. The researchers hope the leg will be able to learn the patient's nerve signal patterns and be able to move in response to the patient's own muscles and nerves (abstract). Electrodes are attached to nine muscles in the thigh to detect the patterns in which the nerve signals are fired. Different patterns correspond to different intended movements. In the current stages of training, the volunteers are wired up to the electrodes and learn how to use the muscles to make a computer avatar move on screen. Results showed that all the volunteers could control the avatar’s knee and ankle movements from neural information from the thigh, with amputees achieving 91 percent accuracy of movement and the non-amputees achieving 89 percent."

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