Providing sensation to upper limb prostheses

Project Details

Layman's description

Losing an arm or hand can be a devastating and life changing event. The technology to help patients who have lost limbs has slowly progressed since the end of World War 2, but is still not as good as a healthy human hand or arm. While doctors, scientists and engineers have become better at using what muscles are left in the stump of an amputee's limb to control a prosthetic hand, replicating sensation in prostheses available to patients is difficult. The sense of touch enables all of us to grasp and hold objects with our eyes closed - the difference between holding an egg and crushing it. Yet amputees can't fully use their remaining nerves that transmit the sensation of touch to the brain, as there is currently no widely available way to connect these nerves to the artificial limbs they use. This project aims to develop an artificial limb that uses the nerves that are still functioning in the amputee's stump to provide the sense of touch. Such a sensitive prostheses would allow an amputee to perform delicate actions, such as gently holding the hand of child.
Effective start/end date1/08/1931/07/21


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