User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
TV Banner
News : First Bionic Hand With Real Feeling
Posted by Randy on 2014/2/10 6:30:54 (153 reads) News by the same author

Nine years ago, Dennis Aabo Sørensen severely wounded his left arm in a fireworks accident, and had to have it amputated. Now, a bionic hand has restored his ability to feel, the first time this has been reported in a scientific journal.

Click to see original Image in a new window

Researchers embedded electrodes in Sørensen's arm, and touch sensors in a prosthetic hand to stimulate his remaining nerves. With the hand, Sørensen was able to recognize different objects by their feel, and grasp them appropriately, according to the study detailed online today (Feb. 5) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

"I could feel things that I hadn't been able to feel in over nine years," Sørensen, who lives in Denmark, said in a statement.

So far, Sørensen is the only person to test the prosthesis, and he's had it for only a short time, but if proven to work over the long term in more people, the system could vastly improve the function of current prosthetic limbs and the quality of life for their users.

The ability to feel is critical for the dexterity humans need to perform basic tasks with their hands. Tactile information tells a person how much force to use when grasping objects as rigid as a coffee mug or as delicate as a grape.

Amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen wearing sensory feedback enabled prosthesis in Rome, March 2013.

"Without sensory feedback from our hands, we would have difficulties performing even the most basic activities of daily living," said Sliman Bensmaia, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, who was not involved in the research.

Many researchers are developing prosthetic systems aimed at restoring people's ability to control their arms or legs after amputation, spinal cord injury or disease. And increasingly, scientists are also working on incorporating touch-sensitive feedback. This is first scientific paper to report such feedback successfully in a human patient.

Silvestro Micera, a neural engineer at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Italy and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne in Switzerland, led the team that developed the feeling bionic hand. Micera and his team connected touch sensors in the artificial hand to electrodes surgically embedded in the remains of nerves in Sørensen's upper arm. Computer algorithms converted the signals from the sensors into a form the nerves could detect.

In a month-long clinical trial, Sørensen tested the hand, sometimes wearing a blindfold and earplugs so he could rely only on his sense of touch when using the hand. Sørensen was able to control how forcefully he grasped objects, and feel their shape and stiffness. He could tell the differences among hard, medium and soft objects, and identify the shapes of specific objects such as a cylindrical bottle or round baseball.

Sørensen told researchers that the artificial sense of touch was similar to the natural feeling he experienced in his other hand.

In contrast with previous approaches to replace a lost sense of touch by, for example, vibrating the skin, the new approach provides "anatomically appropriate feedback," researchers said.

"By directly stimulating the nerves, it's possible that you can appropriately restore that sensory feedback," said Levi Hargrove, an electrical engineer at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, who was not involved in the research.

Both Hargrove and Bensmaia noted that the study is preliminary, because it involved only a single person. Furthermore, in order to be a safe and useful device, the system would need to be fully implantable under the skin, and would need to keep working over a long time, they said.

Although it will probably be years before a system like the one Micera and colleagues developed is ready for clinical use, it is "certainly a major step in the right direction," Hargrove told Live Science.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/9/1 13:43:31 - KC Royals Announce Flurry Of September Call-Ups
2014/8/30 0:20:00 - Lexington Runs Over Trenton, 34-6
2014/8/29 16:07:54 - "Kaleidoscope Run" To Start Homecoming Week At THS
2014/8/29 15:51:13 - Trenton, In Return To Class 2, To Host District 16 Softball Tournament
2014/8/29 15:36:48 - Trenton Golfers Take Fifth Place At Lafayette Tournament
2014/8/29 15:32:52 - Drive One For Your School Event To Raise Money For Three Area School Districts
2014/8/29 15:27:34 - Princeton Chamber To Meet Concerning Cow Palace Repairs
2014/8/29 15:23:47 - NFL Suspends Former Mizzou Standout Aldon Smith For Nine Games
2014/8/29 15:21:23 - KC Chiefs Lose Preseason Finale, 34-14 At Green Bay
2014/8/29 15:00:00 - KC Royals Claim Veteran Jayson Nix Off Waivers
2014/8/29 10:05:43 - Lawson Softball Tips Chillicothe, 3-2
2014/8/29 9:51:45 - Truman State Hoops Coach Leaves For Pro Job
2014/8/29 9:50:00 - CHS Lady Hornet Volleyball Opens Season With Sweep Of Trenton
2014/8/29 9:40:04 - Softball Scoreboard : Gallatin Tips Milan 2-1
2014/8/29 9:22:50 - Savannah Tennis Beats Trenton, 8-1
2014/8/29 7:28:34 - Amber And Jim Shippen Latest Contributors To WMH Foundation
2014/8/29 6:20:30 - Hamilton Resident Life Flighted After Accident South Of Cameron
2014/8/29 5:21:37 - Trenton Downtown Improvement Association Approves Loans For Building Projects
2014/8/29 4:35:36 - Crews In Hazmat Suits Search Springfield Home For Ricin
2014/8/29 4:27:55 - Suspect In 6-Year-Old's Death Charged With First-Degree Murder
2014/8/29 4:23:52 - Missouri Unveils Aid Effort To Ferguson Businesses
2014/8/29 4:19:11 - Cat-Astrophic Revelation Purr-Turbs Hello Kitty Fans
2014/8/29 4:15:39 - 4-Year-Old Expelled Over His Mother's Facebook Post
2014/8/29 4:10:25 - Date Set For Local Recount On "Right To Farm" Issue
2014/8/29 4:03:50 - One Injury In Accident West Of Trenton
2014/8/28 15:01:25 - KC Royals Turning Back Clock To 1974
2014/8/28 14:50:00 - Milan Coaches Shows For Thursday, 8/28/14
2014/8/28 12:50:00 - Chillicothe Hornets Have Dominant Tennis, Golf Performances
2014/8/28 12:32:42 - KC Royals Urge Fans To "Wear Blue" For Rare Sunday Night Game
2014/8/28 12:27:24 - KC Royals Place Top Prospect Starling In Arizona Fall League



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM