Bionic hand gives sense of touch
- 06 Feb
A bionic hand allowing amputees to feel lifelike sensations in their fingers has been created by scientists.
Dennis Aabo, a Danish man, lost his left hand in a firework accident almost a decade ago and has recently received surgery connecting the nerves in his upper arm to a bionic hand.
Mr Aabo said that the hand was "amazing". In the laboratory tests he was able to tell the shape and stiffness of objects he picked up, even when blindfolded, reports the BBC.
Robotic experts from Italy, Switzerland and Germany were part of an international team carrying out the project. "It is the first time that an amputee has had real-time touch sensation from a prosthetic device" said Prof Silvestro Micera from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa.
Micera and his team added sensors to the artificial hand which were able to detect and measure information about touch. Through computer algorithms they were able to transform electrical signals emitted into an impulse that sensory nerves could interpret.
During an operation in Rome, four electrodes were implanted onto nerves in the patient's upper arm. These were connected to the artificial sensors in the fingers of the prosthetic hand which allowed touch and pressure feedback to be sent directly to the brain.
Mr Aabo said: "The biggest difference was when I grabbed something I could feel what I was doing without having to look. I could use the hand in the dark. It was intuitive to use, and incredible to be able to feel whether objects were soft or hard, square or round."
Due to the bionic hand still being a prototype and because of safety restrictions imposed on clinical trials, Mr Aabo required a second operation to remove the sensors.
"He is a hero," said Professor Paolo Rossini, neurologist, University Hospital Agostino Gemelli, Rome. "He gave a month of his life and had two operations to test this device. We are all very grateful to him."
Whilst there is no precise timetable, scientists think it could be a decade before a sensory feedback bionic hand is commercially available.
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1319308
- 10 Aug
New social enterprise to help adults with vulnerabilities
Aspire Community Benefit Society is taking over the council’s Learning Disability Service for a five year contract, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.This new model will see the Learning...
- 30 Jul
New app hopes to bring smarter housing for social landlords
The ZONR app combines the latest intelligent sensor technology, smart data transmission and decision engine analytics to centrally monitor and support heating systems across social landlord’s...
- 05 May
New model of care homes in Wakefield to go ahead
WDH's vision was being able to help people live longer, healthier lives and see support by co-ordinated services delivered as close to their homes as possible under the banner of ‘Connecting Care',...
- 29 Dec
App to support young people with autism with social interactions
This new app launched by Samsung aims to help treat the inability to make eye contact. The app, called Look at Me, has been developed with Seoul National University Bundang Hospital and Yonsei...
- 27 Oct
3D maps could help people with visual impairments navigate cities
The official mapping body for Japan GSI have already developed paper maps for those with visual impairments using embossed surfaces to mark out roads, and is now planning a programme which will do...
- 21 Oct
A paralysed man has been able to walk again following cell transplant
Darek Fidyka, who was paralysed from the chest down following a knife attack in 2010, is now able to walk using a frame, reports the BBC. The treatment is a world first and was carried out by...
- 08 Jul
Breakthrough blood test for Alzheimer's cure
An international collaboration led by scientists from King's College London and Proteome Sciences has published a study identifying a set of ten proteins in the blood. This test will then predict the...
- 04 Jul
Trials for Alzheimer's disease is declining
US scientists have said there is an urgent need to increase the number of potential therapies being investigated. They say that only one new medicine has been approved since 2004, reports the BBC.The...
- 02 May
Study into the possibility of delaying the onset of dementia
One third of a million adults in the UK are taking part in a trial, funded by the Medical Research Council to try to predict what factors increases the risk of a person developing dementia.Each of...
- 10 Mar
Scientists believe a blood test could detect the early signs of Alzheimer's
Researchers have found that changes in the blood may signify Alzheimer's disease in its earliest stages. The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, has identified ten molecules in blood...
How to fund Housing Support and Social Care Services "Alot of information in a short time, good for me because I travelled a long way. So I feel the journey was worthwhile." C.T - People First Dorset