Improving performance by hacking the body

Hi everyone,

My name is Martin and I am a design student in Eindhoven. For my graduation project I want to go down the transhumanism movement and apply it to sports (in order to make the topic less heavy). It could be considered has technological doping in a way. I want to target top athletes and try to improve their performances by connecting a set of extra organs. They be outside the body and therefore be used only to enhance their performances. I am talking about a future scenario and would need to be technologically possible at the moment.

I am opening the discussing here to know what you think about it, maybe you have knowledge in artificial organs, applied technology to the human body. Or maybe you are interested in just talking about this topic and help me making this project as believable as possible!




  • Extra set of external organs?

    Eyes - camera to see behind you, infrared, or long distances?

    Ears - amplified or directional?

    Lungs - filter, extra oxygen, pressurized?

    Skin - protection, cooling, heating?

    Brain - TDCS, smart phone (computer)?

    Muscles - electrical stimulation, hydraulic/pneumatic, springs?


  • Thank you for your input Birdhandz! Yes indeed I was thinking of an extra set of lungs to improve the oxygen intake of the body. Maybe increasing the capacity of those could lead to more efficient muscles. Or could filtrate the air to process only pure oxygen back to the body.

    I am still at the beginning of this project but I see it going towards some sort of super 'skin', like a tight suit to help regulating the temperature and stressing the 'good' muscles to run for example. Also using it as a deflector to reduce wind resistance maybe.

    Anyway, I hope this will lead to something, I'll keep you posted!

  • Several things to consider:

    1) having extra (artificial) organs is all and good, but we'll need to find space for it unless you want to put it outside the skin, which comes with problem of infection in the interfacing areas where the implant comes out.

    2) Related to the above, in order to accommodate the extra organ we might need a whole revamp of the system. For example, our cardiovascular system isn't developed to have two hearts, and we'd have to consider whether the extra heart is just backup or just for extra performance because the design out be very different - e.g. you don't just want an extra heart if you want better performance - better lungs will be needed for oxygen as well as other stuff.

    3) Have to bear in mind exactly what the purpose is: a runner is going to have different needs than a jumper. Also, weight to strength ratio is important too.

    In other words, we are talking about a total revamp of the human body.

  • Thanks for your answer Ivo, yes all your points are very true and need to be considered.

    Could a hybrid work? Like using both your real lungs and the artificial ones? I guess this is what's happening with people with lung failure, some sort of breathing assistance. This project is speculative and is giving one vision of how it could look like in 10-20 years, therefore I am allowing myself to assume th

  • ...that some parts will be working or developed to a almost functioning stage.

    Thank you for your input!

  • As I said, putting in an extra artificial organ would need space unless you want it outside the body. We do have heart-lung machines (for cardiac / aortic surgeries) but they are incredibly bulky last I checked and is completely not portable. So yeah, you get extra lung capacity (maybe) but you'll also be stuck inside a room.

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