Prosthetic touch for amputees can be tested on non-amputees

Washington D.C., Mar 9. (ANI): Prosthetic touch for amputees can now be developed and safely tested on non-amputees, says a study.

The technology to deliver this sophisticated tactile information was developed by Silvestro Micera and his team at EPFL, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and SSSA, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, together with Calogero Oddo and his team at SSSA.

“The stimulation felt almost like what I would feel with my hand,” says amputee Dennis Aabo Sorensen about the artificial fingertip connected to his stump.

Sorensen is the first person in the world to recognize texture using a bionic fingertip connected to electrodes that were surgically implanted above his stump.

Nerves in Sorensen’s arm were wired to an artificial fingertip equipped with sensors. A machine controlled the movement of the fingertip over different pieces of plastic engraved with different patterns, smooth or rough.

As the fingertip moved across the textured plastic, the sensors generated an electrical signal. This signal was translated into a series of electrical spikes, imitating the language of the nervous system, then delivered to the nerves.

Sorensen could distinguish between rough and smooth surfaces 96% of the time.

The study has been published in eLife. (ANI)

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