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Video: Turning Hope Into Reality - VA Research to Restore Veterans' Abilities
Date:4/29/2009

WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- VA Research is dedicated to restoring injured Veterans to their greatest possible functional capacity in their families, communities, and work places. For those who lost limbs from combat traumas or because of complications such as diabetes, VA researchers are designing and building lighter, more lifelike prostheses using leading-edge technologies such as robotics, tissue engineering, and nanotechnology, and are studying how to best match available prosthetic components to the needs of amputees.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/veteransprosthetics/38101/

An example of VA's pioneering research in the field of prosthetics: VA is launching a three-year study of an artificial arm that allows those who have lost their limb to perform tasks such as picking up a key, holding a pencil, or using a power drill. The study will allow engineers to refine the prototype of the artificial arm, which was developed through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), before it is commercialized and made available through the VA health care system.

"The advanced prosthetic arm is a high-tech example of how VA researchers are continually modernizing the materials and design of artificial limbs to meet Veterans' lifestyle and medical needs," says Joel Kupersmith, M.D., VA's Chief Research and Development Officer.

The impending three-year "optimization study" of the artificial arm is the first large-scale clinical trial to play an integral part in the final design and development of a prosthetic device, says Michael Selzer, M.D., VA's Director of Rehabilitation Research and Development. At the end of the two-year effort, Selzer says, "The arm will have been optimized to the point where it can be manufactured and made available to our Veterans."
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SOURCE Department of Veterans Affairs
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