Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Artificial hand grips with feeling - Spiegel Online

blindfolded and headphones on, so was Dennis Aabo Sørensen, 36, separated from his senses. It remained for him only his sense of touch. But the Dane lost his left hand years ago. Now extend wires from his upper arm, they end up in artificial fingers.

It scans with a prosthesis, reaches for the hand of a scientist. And the artificial fingers send signals to the brain Sørensen, let him feel what else feel just real finger. “It’s been amazing,” he says in a video. “Suddenly I could feel something I had not felt for nine years.” His children thought it was “cool”, they called him during the trials “Cable Guy”, the cable man


scientists have developed a hand, you can feel again with the amputee. In the journal “Science Translational Medicine” They tell of feelings that lead up to the pain threshold. The scientist Stanisa Raspopovic recalls in the publication of the Institute of Technology of Lausanne: “It was a very exciting moment when Dennis after endless hours with tests on the artificial hand turned to us and said incredulously, ‘This is sorcery!’ I feel the closing of my missing hand! ‘”

There are sensors on each finger of the prosthesis. Measure the voltage in the artificial tendons. A tangerine is softer than a baseball, its resistance is so low. This information is transmitted via wires to the nerves in the arm, guide the nerve signals in the brain.

Sørensens thinking organ Registered:’s happening on my thumb, my little finger and my index finger slightly. And it was done so quickly that Sørensen could adjust his grip.

“I felt round things, hard things, soft things,” Sørensen describes his first impressions. The scientists gave him delicate plastic cups in the hard fingers of the prosthesis, wooden cubes, bandages. Sørensen groped. “And suddenly I felt really what I did.” And he felt, what he held in his artificial hand.

nerves to function even years after the amputation

last thing he had held in his real hand, was a Feuerwerskörper. He exploded prematurely, almost ten years ago was that. Doctors had to amputate the hand. “We feared a reduced sensitivity of Dennis’ nerves, because these had been over nine years of non-use”, Raspopovic reported . “Nevertheless, we were able to reactivate his sense of touch.”

The fingers of the prosthesis, which got Sørensen, he controls with his muscles. “It works like a bike brake,” he explains the principle. “If they are pulled, the hand closes. When you let go, it opens.” But feel he does nothing. He controls his fingers by watching his movements and adapts.

After four weeks, the electrodes of the new sentient prosthesis had to be removed again. So it require the safety regulations for clinical trials. Scientists are convinced that they could remain in the body for years without causing any damage to the nerves.

More than 700 experiments made the scientist with Sørensen, all in the last seven days of the test series. The experiments took place in Rome’s Gemelli hospital, a university hospital.

Sørensen redevelopment missing now. Place on the market, there is the prosthesis with feeling only in many years, scientists limit. A real-life “bionic hand” is still far off.


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