The next-generation bionic hand, developed by researchers from EPFL, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and the A. Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome, enables amputees to regain a very subtle, close-to-natural sense of touch.
The scientists managed to reproduce the feeling of proprioception, which is our brain’s capacity to instantly and accurately sense the position of our limbs during and after movement – even in the dark or with our eyes closed.
The new device allows patients to reach out for an object on a table and to ascertain an item’s consistency, shape, position and size without having to look at it. The prosthesis has been successfully tested on several patients and works by stimulating the nerves in the amputee’s stump. The nerves can then provide sensory feedback to the patients in real time – almost like they do in a natural hand.
The findings have been published in the journal Science Robotics. They are the result of ten years of scientific research coordinated by Silvestro Micera, a professor of bioengineering at EPFL’School of Engineering and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, and Paolo Maria Rossini, director of neuroscience at the A. Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome.
Current myoelectric prostheses allow amputees to regain voluntary motor control of their artificial limb by exploiting residual muscle function in the forearm. However, the lack of any sensory feedback means that patients have to rely heavily on visual cues. This can prevent them from feeling that their artificial limb is part of their body and make it more unnatural to use.
Recently, a number of research groups have managed to provide tactile feedback in amputees, leading to improved function and prosthesis embodiment. But this latest study has taken things one step further.
“Our study shows that sensory substitution based on intraneural stimulation can deliver both position feedback and tactile feedback simultaneously and in real time,” explains Micera. “The brain has no problem combining this information, and patients can process both types in real time with excellent results.”
Intraneural stimulation re-establishes the flow of external information using electric pulses sent by electrodes inserted directly into the amputee’s stump. Patients then have to undergo training to gradually learn how to translate those pulses into proprioceptive and tactile sensations.
This technique enabled two amputees to regain high proprioceptive acuity, with results comparable to those obtained in healthy subjects. The simultaneous delivery of position information and tactile feedback allowed the two amputees to determine the size and shape of four objects with a high level of accuracy (75.5%).
“These results show that amputees can effectively process tactile and position information received simultaneously via intraneural stimulation,” says Edoardo D’Anna, EPFL researcher and lead author of the study.
The Latest on: Prosthetic hand
via Google News
The Latest on: Prosthetic hand
- Meet prosthetic artist Zuby Johal, the creator of zombies in Ghost Stories and Hastar in Tumbbadon February 1, 2020 at 4:14 am
Zuby, who runs Dirty Hands Studio with her partner Rajiv Subba (both post graduates in ceramic and glass design from National Institute of Design) talks about her work. Prosthetics are used in films ...
- Donna ISD student makes prosthetic hand for classmateon January 31, 2020 at 5:19 am
DONNA – Two Donna Independent School District Robotics Club members worked together to build a prosthetic hand. Rey and Nathaniel met at lunch in the seventh grade – Rey was born without his right ...
- Utah Teen 3D Prints 25 Prosthetic Hands for Kids and Wins National Awardon January 28, 2020 at 12:03 pm
Joseph Huff was volunteering at the Utah County Fair with his mentor from 4H, a youth development organization, when they met a boy who was missing one of his hands, so Huff's mentor offered to make ...
- Thieves rob man with prosthetic leg during his physical therapy walkon January 25, 2020 at 6:48 am
"My therapist told me I had to start walking more, so I could get used to wearing the prosthetic leg and I can feel like it is part of me,” he said. “So I can stop struggling." So, Williams took a ...
- A HAND UP: Athens girl adjusts to life with prostheticon January 24, 2020 at 4:50 am
... hand injury in May 2018 that resulted in the loss of nearly all the fingers on her right hand, with the exception of a small section of her pinky finger. After surgery and months of physical ...
- Helping Hand Conference highlights life-changing prosthetic technologyon January 21, 2020 at 8:39 pm
The Helping Hand Project has been offering specialized prosthetics to children ever since its founding in 2014, but with recent advancements in 3D printing and modeling technology, the nonprofit’s ...
- Nigerian artist and former movie special effects expert makes dark skin prosthetics to boost patients’ confidenceon January 21, 2020 at 12:42 am
The artist behind the creation is John Amanam, a 32-year-old former movie special effects expert. He developed an interest in prosthetics after a family member lost a limb in an accident.
- Robotic Prosthesis Market 2020 Recent Developments and Future Growth-Touch Bionics, HDT Global, SynTouch, LLC, SynTouch, LLCon January 21, 2020 at 12:21 am
This Robotic Prosthesis Market study offers an inclusive, 360 degree analytical research on the global market, bringing to fore insights that can help stakeholders identify the opportunities as well ...
- Alabama girl, 4, who lost fingers to exploding light bulb gets prosthetic hand: 'It's changed her life'on January 20, 2020 at 11:12 am
“We almost thought that was it for Aubry’s right hand.” But after she was discharged from the hospital, Aubry and her family were referred to a clinic in New Jersey that could make the young girl a ...
- We got it made: World's first waterproof prosthetic handon January 20, 2020 at 8:04 am
Brushing your teeth and washing dishes is something most people wouldn't think twice about, but for prosthetic hand users such tasks do not come easy. But a New Zealand company Taska Prosthetics Ltd ...
via Bing News