Amputee cat gets prosthetic legsJune 27th, 2010 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS
London, June 27 (IANS) In a first-of-its-kind surgery, a cat that had its hind feet severed by a harvester has been given two prosthetic limbs by a British vet.
The new custom-made implants, which joined the cat’s ankles to the feet, were surgically attached by Noel Fitzpatrick, a veterinary surgeon based in Surrey, the BBC reported.
The prosthetic legs, the scientific term for which is “intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics”, were developed by a team from University College London (UCL), led by Gordon Blunn, head of UCL’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering.
Blunn and his team worked in partnership with Fitzpatrick to develop these implants, combining engineering with biology.
Their work has been depicted in a BBC documentary titled “The Bionic Vet”.
The cat named Oscar was struck by a harvester while it was dozing in the sun at its home in Jersey.
“The real revolution with Oscar is we have put a piece of metal and a flange into which skin grows into an extremely tight bone,” Fitzpatrick was quoted as saying.
“We have managed to get the bone and skin to grow into the implant and we have developed an ‘exoprosthesis’ that allows this implant to work as a see-saw on the bottom of an animal’s limbs to give him effectively normal gait,” he said.
The technology is being tested in humans and has already been used to create a prosthetic for a woman who lost her arm in the July 2005 London bombings.
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Tags: amputation, ankles, bbc, bbc documentary, biomedical engineering, fitzpatrick, flange, gait, harvester, hind feet, implants, june 27, london bombings, noel, prosthetic legs, prosthetic limbs, prosthetics, university college london, vet, veterinary surgeon