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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The feeling are back to live in the Prosthetic hand...

Dennis Sorensen Aabo lost his left hand when a firework rocket he was holding exploded in celebration of the New Year, 10 years ago. Since then, it never occurred to hope to get back to feeling something of his pieces are still there.

However, since last year Sorensen could again feel how "touch" through the tip of his left hand. The feeling is coming through bionic hand technology that allowed him to understand and identify the object, even if he closed his eyes.

The prototype device is implanted in the  left arm of Sorensen (36), blurring the line between body and machine. Scientists hope, someday this finding will revolutionize many people are forced to undergo amputation in their life.
Amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen, right, wearing sensory feedback enabled prosthesis in Rome. To feel what you touch -- that's the holy grail for artificial limbs. In a step toward that goal, European researchers created a robotic hand that let an amputee feel differences between a bottle, a baseball and a mandarin orange. (Picture from: http://www.foxnews.com/)
There is still much work to be done on the components, but Sorensen believes that European researchers are working on this project has been to get the right base. "It was a great experience. Stunning, could feel something that could not be felt for years. It was pretty close to the same feeling as when I was has a normal hand," Sorensen said.

The use of the bionic hand, including details of daily data and weekly, reported by the researchers from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, England, and Denmark in the Science Translational Medicine journal, on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.

Alastair Ritchie, a biotechnology expert at the University of Nottingham who was not involved the study, said that the finding represents yet another advanced achievement of logic. However, he said further the clinical trials are still needed. "These preliminary data are very interesting, but it remains that it is a case study. We now need to see more cases," said Ritchie.

Despite the progress, the ability of the existing prosthetic hands sunk when should provide the feedback sensor, an important element that determines human dexterity. Sorensen using the prosthetic hand that can detect muscle movement in his stump to open and close the palm of the hand.

However with the prosthetic hand, Sorensen could not feel the touch. Therefore, he must look constantly to the palm of the hand while holding something, to prevent the destruction of the objects which he held.
Neuroengineer Silvestro Micera holds a robotic hand that he and fellow researchers have connected to two nerves in the stump of a patient's arm to allow him to feel different objects. (Picture from: http://www.sfgate.com/)
The findings of a new prototype of a prosthetic hand which called LifeHand 2 give a new hope. The feeling of "live" on the prosthetic arm combines intra-neural technology in the fields of robotics and computer science.

The secret behind the prototype is an ultra-thin electrode has a width of a human hair that is implanted into the ulnar and median nerves of Sorensen's left arm through a surgery procedure. Afterward, then the prosthetic hand with artificial sensor coupled to his arm.

The sensors measure the voltage on artificial tendons in each finger to calculate the force required to hold a variety of objects. Computer algorithms transform the information into electrical signals that can be interpreted by nerves.

As a result, the sensation of real time, including gradations of feeling that allows Sorensen could detect the object shape and consistency of its introduction. In a series of experiments, he could recognize basic shapes of objects such as cylindrical bottle and a stiffness different a mandarin orange with a baseball.

Sensations felt by Sorensen is a vast improvement from LifeHand 1, which was launched in 2009. In the prototype, the feeling that acquired still less smooth. In LifeHand 1, the electrodes not implanted into the arm of prosthetic hand users. Further work is needed to LifeHand 2, among others to create a prosthetic arm that can distinguish objects in greater detail, as well as to distinguish hot and cold.
Silvestro Micera, a neuroengineer at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and Cuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa, said the challenge now is to ensure that the system can be implanted in a prosthetic arm users in the next few months. "Our ultimate goal is to test the prosthetic arm in clinical practice for five, six, or seven times a year. Next step is to demonstrate that the device can work in the long run, not only for one patient, but many patients," said Micera.

Assuming further clinical trials went well, Micera said that the team will likely be looking for commercial partners. However, Micera said that the search for commercial partners are not on the list of their current activities.

One thing is for sure, the cost of this device was expensive. Obviously the high-tech devices was not cheap. However, Micera said the electrode implant operations into the body of the user will be relatively easy to do.. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | REUTERS | FOXNEWS.COM]
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