Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 18

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Using Magnets to Control Prosthetic Limbs
System uses tiny magnetic beads to rapidly measure the position of muscles and relay that information to a bionic prosthesis.
For people with amputation who have prosthetic limbs, one of the
greatest challenges is controlling the prosthesis so that it moves
the same way a natural limb would. Most prosthetic limbs are
controlled using electromyography, a way of recording electrical
activity from the muscles, but this approach provides only limited
control of the prosthesis.
Researchers at MIT's Media Lab have now developed an alternative
approach that they believe could offer much more precise
control of prosthetic limbs. After inserting small magnetic beads
into muscle tissue within the amputated residuum, they can
precisely measure the length of a muscle as it contracts, and this
feedback can be relayed to a bionic prosthesis within milliseconds.
In
a recent study that appeared in Science Robotics, the researchers
tested their new strategy, called magnetomicrometry
(MM), and showed that it can provide fast and accurate muscle
measurements in animals. They hope to test the approach in
people with amputation within the next few years.
" Our hope is that MM will replace electromyography as the dominant
way to link the peripheral nervous system to bionic limbs.
And we have that hope because of the high signal quality that we
get from MM, and the fact that it's minimally invasive and has a
18 Magnetics Business & Technology * September/October 2022
low regulatory hurdle and cost, " says Hugh Herr, a professor of
media arts and sciences, head of the Biomechatronics group in
the Media Lab, and the senior author of the paper.
Cameron Taylor, an MIT postdoc, is the lead author of the study.
Other authors include MIT postdoc Shriya Srinivasan, MIT
graduate student Seong Ho Yeon, Brown University professor of
ecology and evolutionary biology Thomas Roberts, and Brown
postdoc Mary Kate O'Donnell.
Precise measurements
With existing prosthetic devices, electrical measurements of
a person's muscles are obtained using electrodes that can be
either attached to the surface of the skin or surgically implanted
in the muscle. The latter procedure is highly invasive and costly,
but provides somewhat more accurate measurements. However,
in either case, electromyography (EMG) offers information only
about muscles' electrical activity, not their length or speed.
" When you use control based on EMG, you're looking at an intermediate
signal. You're seeing what the brain is telling the muscle
to do, but not what the muscle is actually doing, " Taylor says.
The new MIT strategy is based on the idea that if sensors could
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Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022

Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022
Editor’s Choice/ Features
Life Magnetics Solves Vaccine Transport without Cold Storage
Fortis Life Sciences a New Force in Magnetic Particles with nanoComposix
Mercedes-Benz Prepares Car Production Network for New Electric Portfolio
Using Magnets to Control Prosthetic Limbs
Research & Development
Product News
Industry News
Events Calendar/ Advertising Index
Visions
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Cover2
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 3
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Editor’s Choice/ Features
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 5
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Life Magnetics Solves Vaccine Transport without Cold Storage
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 7
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Fortis Life Sciences a New Force in Magnetic Particles with nanoComposix
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 9
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 10
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 11
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 12
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 13
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Mercedes-Benz Prepares Car Production Network for New Electric Portfolio
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 15
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 16
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 17
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Research & Development
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 19
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 20
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 21
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 22
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 23
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Product News
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Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 27
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Industry News
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 29
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 30
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 31
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Events Calendar/ Advertising Index
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - 33
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Visions
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Cover3
Magnetics Business & Technology - September/October 2022 - Cover4
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