BIONIC LIMBS ARE HERE….& THEY CAN FEEL!!! Modern advances have taken a page from the prophetic passages seen on old science fiction movies. Recent reports indicate that some ideas are no longer fiction.
Nine years ago, Dennis Aabo Sørensen severely wounded his left arm in a fireworks accident, and had to have it amputated. Now, a bionic hand has restored his ability to feel, the first time this has been reported in a scientific journal.
Researchers embedded electrodes in Sørensen’s arm, and touch sensors in a prosthetic hand to stimulate his remaining nerves. With the hand, Sørensen was able to recognize different objects by their feel, and grasp them appropriately, according to the study detailed online today (Feb. 5) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
“I could feel things that I hadn’t been able to feel in over nine years,” Sørensen, who lives in Denmark, said in a statement.
Many researchers are developing prosthetic systems aimed at restoring people’s ability to control their arms or legs after amputation, spinal cord injury or disease. And increasingly, scientists are also working on incorporating touch-sensitive feedback. This is first scientific paper to report such feedback successfully in a human patient.
“By directly stimulating the nerves, it’s possible that you can appropriately restore that sensory feedback,” said Levi Hargrove, an electrical engineer at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, who was not involved in the research.