By: Jared N. Matlis, Research Assistant
Science fiction is humanity’s prediction of its own future, but is often the inspiration for it. Star Trek is a prime example of this irony, from computer tablets to flip phones, this show inspired the technological advancements it had envisaged.
While some of these creations, like starships and teleporters, are still out of our reach, others are closer than we expect. Especially in the field of medical devices.
For instance, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Ethics”, Lieutenant Worf is paralyzed from the waist down because of damage to his spinal cord. Despite the severity of his injury, Worf recovers due to Dr. Crusher’s implementation of a synthetic spinal cord which replaced his damaged one. Even in the 24th century, this is considered an experimental procedure, so it must be centuries ahead of us now, right? With 3D Printing, this level of medical device may only be a few years away.Continue reading