Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bionic Cat

Oscar the cat lost a battle with a combine harvester that took off his back paws. But a new operational technique with implications for humans gave him working artificial implants.
His new kitten heels were designed with custom-made implants, which "peg" the ankle to the foot and mimic the way deer antler bone grows through skin. Oscar's transformation, which has left him resembling a feline Ahab, has been described as a case of science copying the natural world.
Here's how it works.
The artificial implants, which are attached to the bone at the amputation site, were coated with hydroxyapatite, which encourages bone cells to grow onto the metal. .. The skin then grows over a special "umbrella" at the end of the peg to form a seal against bacteria and potentially fatal infections. The peg protrudes through the bone and skin, allowing the custom-built artificial paws to then be securely attached.
According to the article,within four months the cat was basically back to normal function, and able to put equal weight on all four paws.

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