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Harry Campbell

The Engineered Body

Bioengineering often connotes manipulations at the molecular level—creating, for example, genetically altered animals. But another side of this discipline deals with the visible and tangible, as scientists discover how to use modern materials and techniques in solving intractable medical conditions. Teams at Massachusetts General Hospital have pioneered synthetic joints that last for more than a decade without wear, refined software and implantable devices that coax the body into fabricating new bone, and helped paralyzed people learn to direct computers with their thoughts—a first step, perhaps, toward one day regaining control of their immobilized bodies.

  • Brain-Computer Interface Opening the Mind’s Closed Circuits
    Thought-controlled prosthetics, implanted in the motor cortex, are a source of new hope for paralysis patients. //  More

  • Failed Joints Forming Stronger Bonds
    Orhun Muratoglu, a physicist in MGH’s Harris Orthopaedic Laboratory, explains his group’s breakthrough in making prosthetic joints more durable. //  More

  • Testing Machines One Step at a Time
    MGH researchers put replacement joints through the paces, subjecting them to 10 years worth of walking in the lab. //  More

  • distraction Filling the Gaps
    A two-year-old patient now eats and breathes easier thanks to a minimally invasive bone-growing technique. //  More

  • failed joint Beautiful Decay
    How do prosthetic joints wear out? MGH researchers count the ways—in an attempt to improve materials. //  More

  • Baked-In Strength
    Artificial hips and knees must endure great stress, so researchers at MGH’s Harris Orthopaedic Laboratory created a more durable version. //  More

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Video: Forming Stronger Bonds

Failed Joints Orhun Muratoglu explains how his background in material science is helping him and MGH build better replacement joints. // MORE

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