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By Alexia Marsillo October 17, 2012

Superhuman or Supermuse: science and art in prosthetics

Did you know that the human foot holds 25% of all the bones in our body? The body suprises us sometimes --and science even more so in the world of prosthetics. This interesting biological and mechanical world takes huge leaps everyday as it recaptures not only our limbs capabilities in the form of a prosthetic but could soon turn us into "superman".

 

Biomechatronics is the science that merges man with machine. Artificial limbs are becoming increasingly similar to real limbs and are making us wonder how much better a human we might become. Biomechatronics are not simply restoring human motor controls that have been lost by trauma or injury but are enhancing them. Take the shoulder for example. Shoulder prosthetics are quite interesting because they only work by reversing the structure of an actual shoulder. It's fascinating to think that scientists have discovered a way to recreate a human limb by reversing its anatomy! Shoulder replacements have been directly derived from hip replacements. Today Germane scientists are finding a way to better the procedure by creating a so-called "high-tech artificial hip". Prosthetic hips are usually always made with metal, which can cause problems with the success and health of the patient. But these scientists are creating a high-tech hip by not using any metal at all. Ceramic, a material that has never been used in this field before, is now becoming a vital and revolutionary material. There have also been cases where patients have reported of abilities they have acquired with their limbs - almost like superpowers. Recipients of robotic ankles have to said to have been able to propel across the room in 400-watt bursts of power. The world of prosthetics is gaining a sense of allure and power that has never been seen so far. People with artificial limbs are subjected to upgrades once a new development has come in, to ensure that their limbs are always at their maximum capabilities.

The idea of the “superhuman” not only gives us a new and futuristic view of the world of prosthetics, it redemes those needed a new arm or leg. Not only are these re-invented men, women, and children getting a new lease on life, they turn it into something beautiful and worthy. Pruscilla Sutton, the proud user of a prosthetic leg, decided to celebrate it by launching an exhibition that brings together a varied range of artists who are all using prosthetic limbs as their canvas. The exhibition, named Spare Parts, was showcased in England this year for the 2012 Paralympic Games. Artists showcased their artistic limbs with the aim of creating an open-minded and celebratory attitude towards the world of prosthetics.

These created limbs have not only served as a physical repairmen for those who have lost a body part, but are now accompanied by projects, like Pruscilla’s project, that serve to emotionally repair the damage. The world of prosthetics has developed a new spirit to it. A world that is inspiring. These increasingly impressive achievements will continue to build the “superhuman”.

Check out Priscilla Sutton’s exhibition at www.spareparts2012.com

Acknowledgements

The photo belongs to Priscilla Sutton as part of her exhibition.

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