3D printing of nanomaterials and implanted prosthetic limbs.

  3d_printing biomechanics prosthetics limbs implants nanomaterials electronics manufacture

Long-time readers of my site no doubt know of my fascination with the field of 3D printing and tracking the advances that are made almost weekly to this technology. From simple plastic tchotchkes to replacement parts to materials that few ever dreamed would be used, 3D fabbers are fast becoming an integral part of manufacturing at all levels of complexity. A few months ago researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory published the results for a revolutionary 3D printer called the Optomec Aerosol Jet 500, a fabber which uses a range of nanomaterials as its feedstock. To cut to the chase …

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3D printed jet engines, prosthetic limbs, and car engines.

  3d_printing bionics cars engines industrial jets prosthetics

The state of the art of personal 3D printing is still in a state of flux. Mostly, we're still limited to variants of low-melting point plastics and we're still figuring out new and creative ways of making more complex shapes that are self-supporting to some extent. What isn't getting a whole lot of press right now are some industrial applications of this technology, some of which date back a good decade.

For example, a research team consisting of personnel from Monash University in Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and Deakin University recently unveiled the world's first 3D …

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Cardiac prosthetics and fully implanted artificial limbs.

  heart implants limbs medicine mountings nerve_interface prosthetics sensation transcutaneous_implants

No matter how you cut it, heart failure is one of those conditions that sends a chill down your spine. When the heart muscle grows weak and inefficient, it compromises blood flow through the body and can cause a host of other conditions, some weird, some additionally dangerous. Depending on how severe the condition is there are several ways of treating it. For example, my father in law has an implanted defibrillator that monitors his cardiac activity, though fairly simple lifestyle changes have worked miracles for his physical condition in the past several years. Left ventricular assist devices, implantable pumps …

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Some thoughts on Google Glass.

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I feel obligated to make the following disclaimer:

Yes, I am still a privacy advocate. I still teach crypto and train people in using privacy-preserving technologies. I also still don't trust any service that I can't kick because data I produce through them is the product and not the service. That said, Google and Google Glass don't seem to be going away anytime soon. So, here are some of my thoughts on Glass.

If you've been bouncing around the consumer electronics set for a while you've undoubtedly heard of Glass, Google's foray into the red-headed stepchild of computer technology for …

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Transhuman visions presentation.

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To everyone who attended the Global Existential Risks and Radical Futures Conferences yesterday, thank you. It was an honor and a privilege to meet with and speak to all of you.

As promised, here are my slides in the form of an HTML5 presentation. They were authored in Markdown and run through Landslide to convert them into HTML5 slides.


This work by The Doctor [412/724/301/703][ZS] is published under a Creative Commons By Attribution / Noncommercial / Share Alike v4.0 License.

Hearing loss restored through gene therapy, app-controlled hearing aids, and synthetic biology takes off.

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Once upon a time, prosthetic augmentation of a failing sense of hearing took the form of devices the size of a paperback book hung around one's neck and smallish headphones pumping amplified sound into the wearer's ears. As technology progressed and the sizes of components shrank to sub-surface mount form factors (for illustration please note the sizes of the 603 and 402 components) hearing aids shrank in size until they could be custom molded to fit snugly into one's ear canal. All of the benefit with very little of the mass or weight. Hand in hand with the miniaturization …

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Prosthetic synaesthesia and cortical implants.

  achromatopsia engineering implants neurology prosthetics synaesthesia

The human brain is a remarkably complex and flexible organ, with as many possible failure modes and glitches as there are emergent and surprising properties. Take something away, and sometimes you can coax another part of the brain to take up the slack in some other way. Case in point, artist Neil Harbisson. Harbisson was born with a condition called achromatopsia, which is the name for a group of disorders which collectively result in the same phenomenon - he cannot see colors, only shades of greyscale. Sometimes it's a neurological dysfunction, sometimes it's a defect in the retina, and sometimes it's …

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Enhanced prosthetics, cryptographic music collectives, and custom-built cardiac assist devices.

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When many people consider prosthetic limbs, they often seem to think of mechanisms that replace some of the functions of the original but don't seem to add anything new. Prosthetics limbs are not very common and they're almost always very expensive. To the best of my knowledge I don't know of anybody modifying a prosthetic in any substantial way (or any way, for that matter). That's what made this news article jump out at me: A student at the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media named Jason Barnes lost his right arm in an accident in the workplace. He wears …

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Electrical relief of migraines, advances in bioprinting, and prosthetic exoskeletons.

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If you've never had one before migraine headaches are no picnic. Between the feeling like somebody's testing a sawmill with part of your skull, profound nausea brought about by something as innocuous as sunlight or the sound of a diesel engine, and vertigo that makes walking to the bathroom to retch a challenge, they're something that many of us would probably not wish on our worst enemies (I know I don't). There are few things that can arrest or lessen the severity of migraines once they start. Mostly, all you can do is get someplace dark and quiet and ride …

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Repurposing pharmateuticals and developments in prosthetic limbs.

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It is well known that the human brain is a marvelously complex and flexible mechanism, capable of aggregating and processing information from our senses as well as ruminating and calculating based upon the results of other internal processes. It is so complex, in fact, that at this time we can't be sure of what its limits are or what's actually going on in there. People have built entire careers around studying emergent phenomena within the operation of the brain. The day to day operation of the human brain is so complex that it takes very little to tweak its functionality …

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