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01-Mar-2019

Prosthetic Arm Gives Users Sensations; Highly Dexterous

The first osseo- neuromuscular hand prosthesis of the world has been given to a woman in Sweden. The osseo- neuromuscular hand prosthesis is not only impressively accurate but is also capable of transmitting sensations back to the user of the arm. The device is the culmination of the collaborated project of the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Scuola Superiore Santrsquo; Anna in Italy and Intergrum AB, a Swedish firm. The project was named DeTOP or Dexterous Transradial Osseointegrated Prosthesis with neural control and sensory feedback. It is so, as it is the first of its kind which is integrated with the patientrsquo;s remaining natural arm.

Two partially exposed titanium rods, one of which is driven into the radium and the other one into the ulnar bone, are what the prosthesis is attached to. The reading of the userrsquo;s intentions and transmitting of sensations has been made possible by the electrodes in the rods that stretch to the nerves and muscles nearby.

Traditionally, access to a clean signal is not possible in case of prosthesis as the electrodes are positioned over the skin unlike in this case where they are implanted. A prosthetic arm does not have much to it except simply opening and closing when external electrodes are used. However, with sixteen electrodes implanted in the case of the Swedish womanrsquo;s stump, the neurological signals can be read much more accurately. Furthermore, the nerves can be directly stimulated to evoke a sense of touch.

The technology that is being used in the new prosthesis has been developed. Now it is all set to be tested on the Swedish woman. However, it cannot be ignored that the arm does have weight and it will take time for the woman to get used to it and feel comfortable to be able to control the device naturally.

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Last Updated: 20-Mar-2019