Surgical and Engineering Innovations Enable Unprecedented Control Over Every Finger of a Bionic Hand

Prosthetic limbs serve as the predominant fix for replacing a missing limb. Nonetheless, their manageability is challenging and their reliability often lacks due to limited available movements. Residual limb’s remaining muscles are the favored control source for artificial hands. This preference stems from patients’ ability to voluntarily contract muscles, enabling the prosthetic hand to interpret the generated electrical activity.

Consequently, it can be instructed to perform various actions, such as opening or closing. A significant predicament arises at higher levels of amputation, like above the elbow, where only a limited number of muscles remain to command the multitude of robotic joints required for complete restoration of arm and hand function.

To overcome this hurdle, a diverse group of surgeons and engineers collaborated to devise a solution. They accomplished this by modifying the residual limb’s structure and incorporating sensors and a skeletal implant, establishing both electrical and mechanical connections with the prosthesis. Through a meticulous process involving the dissection of peripheral nerves and their redistribution to fresh muscle targets utilized as biological amplifiers, the bionic prosthesis can now access a significantly larger amount of information. As a result, the user gains the ability to command numerous robotic joints at their discretion.

For a visual demonstration of this innovation, you can watch the video:

youtu.be/h1N-vKku0hg

Professor Max Ortiz Catalan spearheaded this groundbreaking research initiative. He serves as the Founding Director of the Center for Bionics and Pain Research (CBPR) in Sweden and holds the position of Head of Neural Prosthetics Research at the Bionics Institute in Australia. Additionally, he is a distinguished Professor of Bionics at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Under his leadership, the multidisciplinary team made significant strides in the field of bionics and prosthesis development.

Source: News Wise