For the first time, people with amputated limbs will be able to feel a touch thanks to a mind-controlled prosthesis. A recent study describes three patients from Sweden who are already using this technology in everyday life.
One of them is Rickard Normark. He says sensations are hard to describe in words. The prosthesis is used from morning to evening and gradually you get used to it.
In the past few years, patients with hand prostheses have begun to be able to feel touch. This is a new concept for artificial limbs called neuromuscular-skeletal prostheses, as described by lead researcher Max Ortiz Catalan.
“We have an implant that is inserted into the bone and mechanically fixed using osseointegration. Essentially, this is an extension of the skeleton to which a hand can be attached. You can place the electrodes in the nerves and muscles, taking the signals coming from them. ”
New prostheses differ from the rest in that they have a direct connection with the nerves, muscles, and skeleton. They are controlled by the mind and give out sensations, as if the missing limb remains in place. This is possible due to the stimulation of the nerves that were connected to the arm before amputation.
There are over a million people with amputated limbs in the world. As a result, the challenge is to develop a widely available product for the maximum number of these people.