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Encyclopedia > Artificial organ

An artificial organ is a man-made organ that is implanted into, or integrated onto, a human to replace a natural organ, for the purpose of restoring a specific function or a group of related functions so the patient may return to as normal a life as possible. The replaced function doesn't necessarily have to be related to life support, but often is. This article is about modern humans. ... This article is about the biological unit. ... Life support, in the medical field, refers to a set of therapies for preserving a patients life when essential body systems are not functioning sufficiently to sustain life unaided. ...


Implied by this definition is the fact that the device must not need to be continuously tethered to a stationary power supply, or other stationary resources, such as filters or chemical processing units. (Periodic rapid recharging of batteries, refilling of chemicals, and/or cleaning/replacing of filters, would not exclude a device from being called an artificial organ.) Thus a dialysis machine, while a very successful and critically important life support device that completely replaces the duties of a kidney, is not an artificial organ. At this time a successful portable self-contained artificial kidney has not become available. In medicine, dialysis is a type of renal replacement therapy which is used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function due to renal failure. ... The kidneys are the organs that filter wastes (such as urea) from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine. ... Artificial kidney is often a synonym for hemodialysis, but may also, more generally, refer to renal replacement therapies (with exclusion of renal transplantation) that are in use and/or in development. ...


Reasons to construct and install an artificial organ, an extremely expensive process initially, which may entail many years of ongoing maintenance services not needed by a natural organ, might include:

The use of any artificial organ by humans is almost always preceded by extensive experiments with animals. Initial testing in humans is frequently limited to those either already facing death, or who have exhausted every other treatment possibility. (Rarely testing may be done on healthy volunteers who are scheduled for execution pertaining to violent crimes.) “Transplant” redirects here. ... An artificial heart is a device that is implanted into the body to replace the original biological heart. ... A United States Army soldier plays table football with two prosthetic arms Jon Comer, professional skateboarder with a prosthetic leg. ... Illustration of the internal parts of a cochlear implant. ... For the album by The Huntingtons, see Plastic Surgery (album). ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ... “Surgeon” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Animal testing (disambiguation). ...


Although not typically thought of as organs, one might also consider replacement bone, and joints thereof, such as hip replacements, in this context. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Contents

Successful Restorations

There are now many artificial organs that have been implanted in humans, with varying degrees of success.


Artificial cardia

The name might imply the heart, but this pertains to gastric repairs, specifically of the valves at either end of the stomach. This article is about the cardia in the human body. ... In anatomy, the stomach is a bean-shaped hollow muscular organ of the gastrointestinal tract involved in the second phase of digestion, following mastication. ...


Artificial eye

The most successful function-replacing artificial eye so far is actually an external miniature digital camera with a remote unidirectional electronic interface implanted on the retina, optic nerve, or other related locations inside the brain. The present state of the art yields only very partial functionality, such as recognizing levels of brightness, swatches of color, and/or basic geometric shapes, proving the concept's potential. While the living eye is indeed a camera, it is also much more than that. This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ... Look up digital camera in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the engineering discipline. ... Human eye cross-sectional view. ... This article is about the anatomical structure. ... The human brain In animals, the brain (enkephalos) (Greek for in the skull), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for behavior. ...


As explained in the main article about the retina, various researchers have demonstrated that the retina performs strategic image preprocessing for the brain. The problem of creating a 100% functional artificial electronic eye is even more complex than what is already obvious. Steadily increasing complexity of the artificial connection to the retina, optic nerve or related brain areas advances, combined with ongoing advances in computer science, is expected to dramatically improve the performance of this technology. Human eye cross-sectional view. ... Look up image in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ...


For the person whose damaged or diseased living eye retains some function, other options superior to the electronic eye described above may be available, as explained in the main article Visual prosthetic. This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ...


None of the current devices presents the cosmetic appearance of a living eye. For the nonfunctional cosmetic artificial eye, generically a "glass" eye, please see instead Ocular prosthetic. For the functional replacement or bionic eye see Visual prosthetic. ...


Artificial ear

For external cosmetic repair see Plastic Surgery. For the album by The Huntingtons, see Plastic Surgery (album). ...


For internal restoration of auditory function see Cochlear implant. While natural hearing, to the level of musical quality, is not typically achieved, most recipients are pleased, with some finding it useful enough to return to their surgeon with a request to do the other ear. Illustration of the internal parts of a cochlear implant. ...


Artificial lungs

With some almost fully functional, artificial lung promise to be a great success in near future.


Artificial heart

While considered a success, the use of artificial hearts is limited to patients awaiting transplants whose death is imminent. The current state of the art devices are unable to reliably sustain life beyond about 18 months. An artificial heart is a device that is implanted into the body to replace the original biological heart. ...


Artificial Pacemakers

These electronic devices, which can either intermittently augment (defibrillator mode), continuously augment, or completely bypass the natural living cardiac pacemaker as needed, are so successful, they have become commonplace. A pacemaker, scale in centimeters A pacemaker (or artificial pacemaker, so as not to be confused with the hearts natural pacemaker) is a medical device which uses electrical impulses, delivered by electrodes contacting the heart muscles, to regulate the beating of the heart. ... This article is about the engineering discipline. ... The contractions of the heart are controlled by electrical impulses, these fire at a rate which controls the beat of the heart. ...


Artificial limbs

Artificial arms with semi-functional hands, some even fitted with working opposable "thumbs" plus 2 "fingers", and legs with shock absorbing feet capable of allowing a trained patient to even run, have become available. While the meaning of "full mobility" is debated, steady progress is made, as described in the main article Prosthesis. For other uses, see Thumb (disambiguation). ... A United States Army soldier plays table football with two prosthetic arms Jon Comer, professional skateboarder with a prosthetic leg. ...


Artificial urinary bladder

This represents a unique success in that these are autologous laboratory-grown living replacements, as opposed to most other artificial organs which depend upon electro-mechanical contrivances, and may or may not incorporate any living tissue. An artificial bladder is an artificial bladder organ. ...


Artificial pancreas

For the treatment of diabetes, numerous promising techniques are currently being tested, including some that incorporate donated living tissue housed in special materials to prevent the patient's immune system from killing the foreign live components. The artificial pancreas is a technology in development to help diabetic persons automatically control their blood glucose level by providing the substitute endocrine functionality of a healthy pancreas. ... This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ...


Brain pacemaker

These devices, including deep brain stimulators, send electrical impulses to the brain in order to relieve depression, epilepsy, tremors of Parkinson's disease, and other conditions. Rather than replacing existing neural networks to restore function, these devices often serve by disrupting the output of existing malfunctioning nerve centers to eliminate symptoms. Brain pacemakers are used to treat people who suffer from epilepsy, Parkinsons disease, clinical depression and other diseases. ... In neurotechnology, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain. ... On the Threshold of Eternity. ... For the film see Tremors (film). ... In cognitive neuroscience, a neural network (also known as a neuronal network or biological neural network to distinguish from artificial neural networks) is a population of interconnected neurons. ...


Artificial corpora cavernosa

To treat erectile disfunction, both corpora cavernosa can be irreversibly surgically replaced with manually inflatable penile implants. This is a drastic therapeutic surgery meant only for men suffering from complete impotence that has resisted all other treatment approaches. A corpus cavernosum is one of a pair of a sponge-like regions of erectile tissue which contain most of the blood in the male penis during erection. ... Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis for satisfactory sexual intercourse regardless of the capability of ejaculation. ... Penis enlargement procedures (sometimes referred to as male enhancement procedures in spam email and television advertisements) are techniques designed to make the human penis larger. ... Impotence or, more clinically, erectile dysfunction is the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis for satisfactory sexual intercourse regardless of the capability of ejaculation. ...


An implanted pump in the (groin) or (scrotum) can be manipulated by hand to fill these artificial cylinders, normally sized to be direct replacements for the natural corpus cavernosa, from an implanted reservoir in order to achieve an erection.


Beyond Restoration

It is also possible to construct and install an artificial organ to give its possessor abilities which are not naturally occurring. Research is proceeding, particularly in areas of vision, memory, and information processing, however this idea is still in its infancy. In psychology, visual perception is the ability to interpret visible light information reaching the eyes which is then made available for planning and action. ... For other uses, see Memory (disambiguation). ... In general, information processing is the changing (processing) of information in any manner detectable by an observer. ...


Some current research focuses on restoring inoperative short-term memory in accident victims and lost access to long-term memory in dementia patients. Success here would lead to widespread interest in applications for persons whose memory is considered healthy to dramatically enhance their memory of far beyond what can be achieved with mnemonic techniques. Given that our understanding of how living memory actually works is incomplete, it is unlikely this scenario will become reality in the near future. This article is about the concept. ... Short-term memory, sometimes referred to as primary, working, or active memory, is that part of memory which stores a limited amount of information for a few seconds. ... Long-term memory (LTM) is memory, stored as meaning, that can last as little as 30 seconds or as long as decades. ... For other uses, see Mnemonic (disambiguation). ...


One area of success was achieved in 2002 when a British Scientist, Kevin Warwick, had an array of 100 electrodes fired in to his nervous system in order to link his nervous system into the internet. With this in place he carried out a series of experiments including extending his nervous system over the internet to control a robotic hand, a form of extended sensory input and the first direct electronic communication between the nervous systems of two humans[1]. Kevin Warwick speaking at the Tomorrows People conference hosted by Oxford University. ...


Another idea with significant consequences is that of implanting a Language Translator for diplomatic and military applications. While machine translation does exist, it is presently neither good nor small enough to fulfill its promise. Look up translate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Machine translation, sometimes referred to by the acronym MT, is a sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of computer software to translate text or speech from one natural language to another. ...


This might also include the existing (and controversial when applied to humans) practice of implanting subcutaneous "chips" (integrated circuits) for identification and location purposes. An example of this is the RFID tags made by VeriChip Corporation. The distribution of the bloodvessels in the skin of the sole of the foot. ... An integrated circuit (IC) is a thin chip consisting of at least two interconnected semiconductor devices, mainly transistors, as well as passive components like resistors. ... An EPC RFID tag used for Wal-Mart Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. ...


References

  1. ^ Warwick,K, Gasson,M, Hutt,B, Goodhew,I, Kyberd,P, Schulzrinne,H and Wu,X: “Thought Communication and Control: A First Step using Radiotelegraphy”, IEE Proceedings on Communications, 151(3), pp.185-189, 2004

See also

Bionics (also known as biomimetics, biognosis, biomimicry, or bionical creativity engineering) is the application of methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology. ... Illustration of the internal parts of a cochlear implant. ... This article is about the biological unit. ... A United States Army soldier plays table football with two prosthetic arms Jon Comer, professional skateboarder with a prosthetic leg. ... An organ transplant is the transplantation of an organ (or part of one) from one body to another, for the purpose of replacing the recipients damaged or failing organ with a working one from the donor. ...

External links

  • American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO)
  • Hardware Models of Hippocampus: Toward Brain Implants as Neural Prostheses for Memory Loss
  • Adaptive Optoelectronic Eye: Hybrid Sensor/Processor Architecture

  Results from FactBites:
 
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (295 words)
The good news is that the field of medical device and artificial organ development is redefining what is believed to be possible for augmenting or replacing organ function.
Once constructed only of synthetic components, these devices may now be either fully artificial or bioartificial- so-called "biohybrid organs" - a combination of biologic and synthetic components, often incorporating multiple technologies involving sensors, new biomaterials, and innovative delivery systems.
Where organ recovery is not possible, artificial organs - when fully refined - will provide a substitute for natural organs.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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