Artificial muscle fibers offer a wide range of possible applications. These fibers can be used in prosthetics and medical devices; bio-inspired robotic systems; wearable exoskeletons and actuated suits; aerospace and energy industry; humanoid robotics and many other fields where a human-like actuation system can be a better alternative to an electric motor. Artificial muscle fibers show a great potential in active orthotic and prosthetic therapeutic applications. Artificial muscle fibers are roughly similar to natural muscles in biomechanics and functioning. Advancements in polymer-based actuators have delivered unprecedented strengths. Some of the latest research have shown that these fibers can lift more than 1,000 times their own mass. Artificial muscle fiber is a key development in robotic engineering that could reduce the cost, complexity, and weight of many robotic systems.
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Rising Prevalence of Diabetes and Vascular Diseases to Drive Artificial Muscle Fibers Market
Diabetes and vascular diseases are primary causes of amputation. As the number of people afflicted by these diseases increases, the demand for prosthetics is also expected to increase. According to the International Diabetes Federation, around 15% of individuals suffering from diabetes develop foot ulcer during their lifetime. It is estimated that 2.4 million people in the U.S. are at the risk for developing foot ulcer. In diabetic patients, foot ulcer, if not properly treated, can lead to amputation. A report published by the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association states that 60% of non-traumatic amputations in the U.S. are performed on diabetes patients. The Amputee Coalition of America points toward vascular diseases as the primary cause of lower limb amputation. According to Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), over 8.5 million people in the U.S. are affected by peripheral vascular disease. The rising prevalence of diabetes and vascular diseases is considered a major factor that is expected to drive the market during the forecast period.
Extensive R&D Activities in Artificial Intelligence
The new focus of research & development in the prosthetics field is mind-controlled humonics solutions. Humonics is a later stage of bionics that aims to restore unmet needs of lost sensation and human-like aesthetics including gestures and volitional control. Researchers at the John Hopkins University have created a mind-controlled artificial limb that can move individual digits without much training. Extensive research in the field of artificial intelligence aimed at creating higher-quality life for amputees is likely to result in the development of technologically advanced products. This is likely to drive the global artificial muscle fibers market during the forecast period.
Major players operating in the global Artificial Muscle Fibers market include Össur, Ohio Willow Wood Company, Ottobock, RSL Steeper Group Ltd., Proteor, Chas. A. Blatchford & Sons Ltd. Spinal Technology, Inc., and Liberating Technologies, Inc.
Liberating Technologies, Inc.
Liberating Technologies, Inc. is a company engaged in the supply of upper limb prosthetic devices for all age groups. The company develops and manufactures several prosthetic devices such as VariGrip Prosthetic, which is a controller for below-elbow amputees; and Boston Digital Arm System, which is designed for above-elbow amputees. The company designs and manufactures prosthetic hands, elbows, and wrists. Furthermore, it offers orthotic hinges and shoulder joints. Liberating Technologies, Inc. provides products to three major international distributors of powered prostheses: VASI (Canada), RSL Steeper, and Touch Bionics.
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Blatchford Group (Chas. A. Blatchford & Sons Ltd)
Chas. A. Blatchford & Sons Ltd is a global company that develops, manufactures, and supplies prosthetic and orthotic products. The company develops orthotic products for diabetes, orthopedic disorders, neurological disorders, and spinal pathologies. Furthermore, it produces manual and powered wheelchairs, pressure-relief cushions for mobility equipment, and specialist buggies. Blatchford Group has offices in the U.S., Germany, France, India, and Russia. Its network of distributors is spread across the world.
RSL Steeper Group Ltd
RSL Steeper Group Ltd (RSL Steeper) offers a comprehensive range of upper limb prosthetics, orthotics, orthopedic products, and electronic assistive technology devices. The company’s prosthetic supplies have been categorized into three segments: Upper Limbs, Silicone, and Lower Limbs. The upper limbs segment offers a comprehensive range of products under categories such as electric, mechanical, passive, and functional devices & gloves. The company offers prosthetic clinical services for upper limb prosthetics, lower limb prosthetics, silicone cosmoses, and orthotics. RSL Steeper distributes its products through international partners to its customers all over the world.
The global artificial muscle fibers market can be segmented based on:
In terms of actuation mechanism, the global artificial muscle fibers market can be classified into:
Based on material, the global artificial muscle fibers market can be divided into:
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