Prosthetic Hand Will Provide Amputees With Real-time Sensory Feedback
Silvestro Micera of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland has recently unveiled the medical innovation for the amputees. It is the first bionic hand that allows amputees to feel what they are touching. If the pioneering operation later this year proves successful, a new generation of artificial limbs with sensory perception will be introduced. Dr Micera explains that the wiring of the patient’s new bionic hand will be connected to his nervous system via electrodes clipped onto two of the arm’s main nerves. As a result the patient will be able to control the movements of the hand by his thoughts, as well as receiving sensory signals to his brain from the hand’s sensors. Unlike the earlier version of the hand, which had only two sensory zones, the latest prototype will send sensory signals back from all the fingertips, as well as the palm and the wrists to give a near life-like feeling in the limb. After the patient wears the bionic hand for a month, scientists hope to see how he’ll adapt to the artificial limb and in case all goes well, a full working model will be ready for testing within two years.