EMDT_European Medical Device Technology

European Medical Device Technology, Spring 2014

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emdt.co.uk European Medical Device Technology Spring 2014 | 19 Prosthetic Hand Restores the Sense of Touch Nine years after he lost his left hand in an accident with fire- works, Dennis Aabo Sørensen regained his sense of touch, thanks to a sensory-enhanced prosthetic hand. An international team of scientists and surgeons from various European countries developed the device and connected it to nerves in his upper arm. The technology measures the tension in artificial tendons that control his finger movement and sends an electrical signal to a computer. An algorithm then translates the signal into an impulse that can be understood by the nervous system. With his previous commercial prosthesis allowing him to open and close his hand, Sørensen relied on his eyes to gauge his grasp. Because he didn't receive feedback to his nervous system, however, he was always at risk of damaging the subject he was holding. A research group at Freiburg University developed the thin, ultra- precise electrodes that relay faint electrical signals directly into the nervous system. "This is the first time in neuroprosthetics that sensory feed- back has been restored and used by an amputee in real-time to control an artificial limb," says Silvestro Micera, the project leader from the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. The researchers tested the new system in various experi- ments. Blindfolded Sørensen was able to detect shape and consistency of different objects. "When I held an object, I could feel if it was soft or hard, round or square," he says in a press release. "The sensory feedback was incredible. I could feel things that I hadn't been able to feel in over nine years." According to the university, it will take years to develop the device into a commercial product. The research team aims to miniaturize the electronic system so it can be completely implanted. —T.K. Dennis Aabo Sørensen tests a sensory-enhanced prosthetic hand. in the palm of your hand KNF introduces a 16 bar pressure liquid pump KNF Flodos AG, Product Center Liquid Pumps, Wassermatte 2, CH-6210 Sursee, Switzerland Tel: +41 (0)41 925 00 25 Fax: +41 (0)41 925 00 37 'OCKNOCTMGVKPI"MPHƃQFQUEJ YYYMPHEQO • 16 bar continuously • JKIJEJGOKECNTGUKUVCPEG 2''- • micro design • can run dry • self priming • maintenance-free • SWKEMJ[FTCWNKEEQPPGEVKQPU 16 bar MEDTEC Stuttgart Stand 3F40 ES430900_EMDT1405_019.pgs 04.29.2014 03:33 UBM black yellow magenta cyan

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