Researchers at University of California Davis Medical Center have created a new procedure that shows artificial muscles can restore the ability of patients with facial paralysis to blink.

The technique, which at present is being refined using cadavers and lab animals, could be available for patients within 5 years, according to a paper published in the January-February 2010 issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery. In addition, the procedure uses a combination of electrode leads and silicon polymers, which could lead to the development of synthetic muscles to control other parts of the body.

This development could benefit people who can no longer close their eyelids due to combat-related injuries, stroke, nerve injury, or facial surgery, according to the sugeons who pioneered the technique.


[Source: UC Davis/Science Daily]