Spinal cord injury (SCI) affects millions around the world and often causes paralysis below the level of injury, causing people to lose the use of their arms or legs. As their condition worsens other problems may develop, such as respiratory issues and urinary tract infection. As the medical community looks for new ways to treat this ailment, engineers have begun working on brain machines that use sensors and printed circuit boards to help those in need achieve a higher quality of life. Researchers at Duke University are developing a solution that helps those with SCI regain movement using the following:
- A 165-pound brain-machine exoskeleton suit that supports the weight of the wearer
- Hydraulic power for smooth movement
- A brain-machine interface (electroencephalography [EEG] cap) that allows the wearer to send brain signals to the suit
The key of the exoskeleton suit is that PCBs are put together with mesh at key locations, such as at knees and other joints, so that the brain machine can communicate with the suit and trigger movement.
How Can Printed Circuit Boards Advance Medical Treatments?
In addition to being used in wearable devices that monitor brain activity and convert the information to movement, printed circuit boards can be used to help medical equipment and other machinery advance the quality of care offered around the world. From in-home robots that assist senior citizens complete various tasks to body suits that allow paralyzed individuals to walk again, engineers are developing new ways to add more into PCBs and technology. To learn more about how circuit boards can be improved to make a difference for your next project, contact an engineering expert at Advanced Circuits today.