Magnetomicrometry Can Help Control Prosthetic Limbs

Name of study: Magnetomicrometry can provide fast and accurate muscle measurements

By who and where: MIT Media Lab, USA  

What does it say?

1) An alternative approach called magnetomicrometry (MM) uses magnets for better control of prosthetic limbs.

2) After inserting small magnetic beads into muscle tissue, practitioners can accurately measure the length of a muscle as it contracts.

3) Within milliseconds, this measurement can be relayed to a robotic prosthesis within.

For excellent innovation 

Dr Srikanth V, Consultant, Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery, Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru

The use of robotics make things precise, and therefore, will help in the better function of the prosthetic limbs. Magnetic field data used in this procedure is quite accurate as compared to conventional leads that get displaced over time. It is also a less invasive approach for electric activity pickup. Insertion of magnetic beads is a relatively simple process and considering there is a huge demand for prosthetic limbs in our country, especially younger amputees, this technology will be of great help. There is no radiation hazard. 

Against exercise caution 

Dr Prashanth Dhanraj, Consultant Orthopedic surgeon, Kamineni Hospitals, Hyderabad

It needs precise calculations and calibration, which is difficult to achieve through magnetomicrometry, since the variables of muscle control for strength and movement are many. This device is quite sensitive and should be kept away from MRI-like devices. Insertion of the beads may require a surgical procedure and should be done aseptically. Availability of this is limited, making it costly. The muscle may have a ‘foreign body reactions’ which may lead to fibrosis and tissue reaction.

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