source: this website (February 13, 2014)
“These results open up very promising clinical possibilities for amputees. In a few years from now, this technology could become clinically available“
Silvestro Micera, Professor at EPFL and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Director of the Translational Neural Engineering Laboratory and the Institute of Bioengineering, comments with these words the results of “LifeHand 2” project, the first sensitive bionic hand, able to perceive objects with a feeling similar to the sense of touch.
Nine years after an accident caused the loss of his left hand, Dennis Aabo Sørensen from Denmark became the first amputee in the world to feel – in real-time – with a sensory-enhanced prosthetic hand that was surgically wired to nerves in his upper arm. Silvestro Micera and his team developed the revolutionary sensory feedback that allowed Sørensen to feel again while handling objects. A prototype of this bionic technology was tested in February 2013 during a clinical trial in Rome under the supervision of Paolo Maria Rossini at Gemelli Hospital (Italy). The study is published in the February 5, 2014 edition of Science Translational Medicine, and represents a collaboration between several european universities and hospitals.
“The sensory feedback is incredible” Dennis Aabo Sørensen reports “I could feel things that I hadn’t been able to feel in over nine years“. In a laboratory setting, wearing a blindfold and earplugs, Sørensen was able to detect how strongly he was grasping, as well as the shape and consistency of different objects he picked up with his prosthetic. “When I held an object, I could feel if it was soft or hard, round or square“.
LifeHand2 has had great international wide appeal and confirms the aims of scientific projects developed in the Biorobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna: put in contact the scientific research to the needs of people. Click here for more details of LifeHand 2 project.