New hand with feelings - level 3

New hand with feelings - level 3

13-02-2014 15:00

Dennis Sorensen may not be able to see this, but he can feel it, thanks to this revolutionary prosthetic limb. Electrodes in the hand have been tied in with nerves in Sorensen’s upper arm, allowing electrical connection between the limb and brain. Research was led by neurologist Silvestro Micera.

“As several sensors attach to each tendon of each finger, and we can use these sensors to understand the level of force the patient was performing while grasping an object. And we use this force information to deliver very precise stimulation to the different sensory nerves in order to restore this real-time sensory feeling into the nervous system.”

Sorensen, a Danish father of three, lost his hand in a fireworks accident and for the first time in nine years has got feeling back. He underwent surgery in Rome last year where the electrodes were implanted and then the hand was attached.

“The first time they turned it on and we worked with the new hand, it was amazing because suddenly I could feel things that I haven’t been able to for so many years and it was kind of. You can feel round things and hard things and soft things. That was quite amazing.”

Dennis is the first to regain sensory feeling in a false limb and is delighted by his part in the trial. He hopes to be the first in line when a bionic arm becomes available.

Difficult words: tendon (string-like part of your body that connects a muscle to a bone), bionic (mechanical but functioning perfectly and like a part of the organism).

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