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New Prosthetic Arm that Feels Closer to the Real Thing

Jun 5, 2020 by Smiti Munwani

When people lose a limb or part of one due to trauma, accident, war, or any other reason, they can use a prosthetic device that works like the lost part. Newer prosthetic devices are easier and more comfortable to use than earlier ones, but they do require some getting used to. And they lack the feeling of the lost limb.

Now there is a new device that is still undergoing trials. What is more exciting is that it is a brain-controlled prosthetic that is surgically attached to nerves, muscles, and bone and enables the user to actually feel the sensation of touching, instead of being a disembodied part.

Brain-controlled surgically attached prosthetic

All the electronics required are within the prosthetic and do not require any external interface or device. Electrodes, force sensors, and wires in the nerves help relay the signals to the brain.

This implant system is called e-OPRA and the device has been tested on four patients for three to seven years. While this has been tested on the upper limb (above-elbow amputations) work is on-going to use it for below the elbow amputees and also make a similar device for the lower limbs. As the study shows the success of this device, it is closer to becoming a finished product.


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