New smart prosthetic arm endowed with sensitivity and increased flexibility

Modern prosthetic hands can be controlledspecial electrodes that are placed on the skin and read the bioelectric signals of the muscles. However, this method has limitations that allow you to make only the most simple movements with an artificial limb, for example, to compress and unclasp your arm and palm. At the same time, a person, of course, is absolutely not capable of feeling anything with an artificial hand. New development of European scientists solves these shortcomings.

Within the framework of a joint EuropeanDeTOP research project scientists from Integrum AB and Chalmers Institute of Technology (Sweden), under the leadership of Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan, have developed a prosthesis that can read signals from nerves and muscles through special electrodes that are implanted directly into the patient’s arm, which allows not only effective management of artificial limb , but also to endow it with sensitivity.

As reported on the project website, surgeonsThe University Hospital of Salgrenska (Göteborg, Sweden) recently conducted the first successful surgery to install a musculoskeletal implant to a person with an amputee to control an artificial prosthesis with advanced flexible capabilities.

The implant consists of two titanium rods,which were integrated into the patient's radial and ulnar bones, as well as a total of 16 electrodes that were connected to the nerve endings under the skin in the stump. Signals from the nerves are translated into commands with which a person can control an artificial robotic arm.

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It is reported that this approach allows not onlyachieve more natural movements of an artificial limb, but also provides sensory feedback in the form of tactile sensations that allow a person to simplify the task of determining the amount of effort that is required to apply, for example, to grab any object with a robotic hand, which is quite difficult to do when using a conventional prosthesis and only visual information.

The first person to get the opportunityuse the new technology is currently undergoing training with the use of virtual reality, which will help to quickly adapt to the new robotic limb.

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