External mechanical support or replacement for lost organ functionality has been around for much longer than internal mechanical systems have been. External opportunities such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, and prostestics have existed for centuries. However, when these mechanisms need to be integrated into the body, they become more complex. Additional work is needed to overcome these challenges such as connecting prostetics directly to the nervous system, or creating systems that need to connect to the body's blood supply like dialysis machines.
More recent advancements have begun to make internal mechanical replacements possible (i.e. pacemakers). However, these mechanisms often have a limited shelf-live and will require regular surgeries and are not ideal for the patient. More work is required to provide mechanical replacements for other organs and to increase the shelf-life of the mechanisms so that regular surgery is not required.
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