New Artificial hand lets amputee feel objects

New Artificial hand lets amputee feel objects

Written by News 1st

06 Feb, 2014 | 9:08 am

Ten years ago on New Year’s Eve, Dennis Aabo Sorensen was launching fireworks when a defective rocket blew up. He was rushed to the hospital, and his left hand was amputated.

Thanks to an international research project, Sorensen, 36, a native of Denmark, was able to feel sensation by using an experimental bionic hand last year.

The device uses special sensors that communicate with electrodes inserted in Sorensen’s nerves.

This is the first time that an amputee has been able to feel real-time sensations through an artificial hand using this method, researchers said.

“I could tell if it was a hard object or a soft one,” Sorensen said. “It was really amazing to suddenly have the ability to distinguish the different objects from each other.”

The project is called Lifehand 2, and the clinical trial took place in Rome in February 2013.

“When you grasp an object with your natural hand, your nerve endings detect sensory information that is relayed back to the brain. That is the same principle of this experiment”, said Silvestro Micera, senior author of the study and director of the Translational Neural Engineering Laboratory at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.

“Maybe we were able to restore in some way something close to the natural sensation, which makes the job of the brain to understand what is happening easier,” Micera said.


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