A team of researchers and engineers at the Swiss Ecole Poly technique Fédérale de Lausanne Center for Neuroprosthetics have developed a revolutionary sensory feedback that allowed an amputee named Dennis Aabo Sørensen to feel sensory-rich information, in real-time, using a prosthetic hand wired to nerves in his upper arm.

Sørensen wearing the sensory feedback-enabled prosthetic. (Credit: Lifehand2/Patrizia Tocci)
Researchers enhanced the artificial hand with sensors that detect information about touch by measuring the tension in artificial tendons that control finger movement and turning this measurement into an electrical current. The sense of touch was achieved by sending the digitally refined signal through wires into four electrodes surgically implanted into the remaining upper arm nerves.

They say this is the first time that sensory feedback has been restored and used by an amputee in real-time to control an artificial limb. The next step involves miniaturizing the sensory feedback electronics for a portable prosthetic.

For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/component/content/article/1104-mdb/news/19065.