Dolphin's prosthesis an inspirational tailFriday 23 September 2011 11.58
A film has been released based on the story of how an Irishman, Kevin Carroll, developed a prosthetic tail for a dolphin.
Dolphin Tale is based on the story of Winter, a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap six years ago.
She was brought to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida.
Mr Carroll, who is vice president of Hanger Prosthetics in the US, worked with his colleague, Dan Strzempka, experimenting with materials including rubber from car tyres before finally coming up with a new artificial tail for Winter.
The team developed a new gel, which they used in the construction of the prosthetic tail to protect the dolphin’s skin.
Human amputees are already benefiting from breakthroughs the team made during their work. So-called Winter’s gel is being used on human amputees in the US and will be available in Europe in the next couple of months.
Dolphin Tale is being released by Warner Brothers in the US this week.