User Login    
 + Register
News : First Bionic Hand With Real Feeling
Posted by Randy on 2014/2/10 6:30:54 (210 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
2015/1/27 13:39:02 - Royals Sign Dyson To One-Year Deal
2015/1/27 11:14:55 - Rams Commit To Play 2015 Season In St. Louis, But Future Remains Murky
2015/1/27 11:00:00 - Gallatin Hoops Teams Advance To Hamilton Semifinals
2015/1/27 10:50:00 - Minus Parkey, Chillicothe Lady Hornets Blitz Excelsior, Move To 16-1
2015/1/27 10:35:19 - Gilman City Ladyhawks Move Into Potential Rematch With North Harrison
2015/1/27 10:20:00 - Tina-Avalon Clips Mercer In Meadville Tourney Quarterfinal
2015/1/27 9:07:49 - Trenton Kids Boast Four Titles At Lathrop Tournaments
2015/1/27 9:03:40 - Mason Mounce Wins 160 Pound Title At Brookfield Tournament
2015/1/27 8:50:00 - Trenton JV And Freshmen Lose At Bishop LeBlond
2015/1/27 6:40:00 - KCP&L To Become Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Leader
2015/1/27 6:38:43 - City Seeks Bids For Mold Removal
2015/1/27 4:45:41 - Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act Brings High Hopes For Farmers
2015/1/27 4:41:43 - Missouri Panel Endorses Limits To Unemployment Benefits
2015/1/27 4:40:00 - Trenton Man Arrested On Charge Of Stealing From Royal Inn Pizza
2015/1/27 4:39:58 - MDC Reports Two New Cases Of CWD In Adair And Macon Counties
2015/1/27 4:25:14 - When Street Harassers Realize The Women They're Catcalling Are Their Moms In Disguise
2015/1/27 4:12:28 - Mom Blames Target For 22-Year Old Son's Suicide, Files Lawsuit
2015/1/27 4:07:35 - Ex-CIA Officer From Missouri Convicted Of Leaking Secrets To Reporter
2015/1/27 4:05:16 - Suspect Shot By Police In Hannibal
2015/1/27 3:59:23 - Girl Suspected Of Stealing Diamond Necklace Worth $4.6 Million
2015/1/27 3:54:08 - Bodies Found After Georgia Couple Lured By Craigslist Contact
2015/1/27 3:51:28 - Millions Hunker Down As Northeast Storm Totals Downgraded
2015/1/27 3:47:35 - 17 Missouri Defendants Among 26 Indicted for $16 Million Drug-trafficking Conspiracy
2015/1/26 10:40:00 - Buchanan County Shooting Kills One, Injures Mid-Buchanan School Nurse
2015/1/26 10:20:04 - KC Royals Invite 25 Players To Major League Spring Training
2015/1/26 10:15:52 - Grundy R-5 Coaches Shows For Monday, 1/26/15
2015/1/26 9:30:00 - NCMC Women Rip First Place In Region 16 From STLCC
2015/1/26 9:20:00 - Princeton Board Of Education Meeting Report
2015/1/26 9:19:58 - NCMC Softball Makes Weydert Signing Official
2015/1/26 9:16:51 - La Plata Man Dies In Saturday Night Accident



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM