emPOWER is creating artificial muscles to act alongside or replace our own

Service Engineering

EmPOWER is creating artificial muscles to act alongside or replace our own by restoring natural body function to prolong life.

Project led, Professor of Robotics, Bristol University, Jonathan Rossiter, is discovering how artificial muscles could change treatment choices in the future with project associates, including UCL, the NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative, hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust and Imperial College.

“emPOWER is creating artificial muscles to act alongside or replace our own by restoring natural body function to prolong life. “

The emPOWER project is a team of thirty researchers across materials science, soft robotics, chemistry, ethics, bioengineering, medicine and healthcare management.

Prof Rossiter explains that the inspiring team will have a system of implantable muscles that receive their energy externally, such as a small power pack, and that interacts directly with the sensing and control nervous system.

Prof Rossiter stated: “We are working on the principle that implanting robotic, artificial muscles to replace or work alongside our own muscles, can restore natural body function and help us all to live longer, more comfortable and active lives. EmPOWER implantable muscles must work seamlessly with the body. They must be biocompatible, integrate smoothly and strongly with natural bone and tissue and coordinate intelligently with the patient’s own movements and muscle actions. This is truly a project for 2050 and beyond, taking an adventurous approach that leapfrogs current state-of-the-art research. There is considerable work to be done but we confidently expect to see empower artificial muscles in clinical use before 2050.”

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