The human body is an extraordinary machine. With trillions of cells, tens of thousands of miles of blood vessels, hundreds of muscles and an intricate genetic code that controls the functioning of all its parts, the body is a complex organic machine designed to constantly renew itself and run for decades with little maintenance. Few, if any, man-made machines are built as well as the human body.
Our bodies, however, are not infallible. While subject to normal wear and tear, they can break down or fail due to disease, neglect, overuse or aging. These breakdowns require a fix that is far superior to the body’s remarkable self-repair mechanisms.
Over the last century, scientists and engineers have worked diligently to find ways to fix medical problems that have become too overwhelming for the body. Much of the effort has focused on the development of artificial body parts that rival the original.
Whether it’s the knee, hip, eyes, ears, heart, kidney, brain or breast, advancements in technology, raw materials and medicine have made it possible for doctors to use artificial replacement parts almost anywhere on the human body. Once the subject of science fiction novels, artificial body parts are now a common and popular alternative to those suffering from defective joints, blocked arteries, poor vision or hearing loss.
Orthopedic Design & Technology – May/June 2009
Michael Barbella, Managing Editor, Orthopedic Design & Technology
Read the full article