An international team led by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., has developed a prototype of the first fully integrated prosthetic arm that can be controlled naturally, provide sensory feedback and allows for eight degrees of freedom - a level of control far beyond the current state of the art for prosthetic limbs.
The advanced degree of natural control and integrated sensory feedback demonstrated with Proto 1 are enabled by Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR), a technique pioneered by Dr. Todd Kuiken at RIC that involves the transfer of residual nerves from an amputated limb to unused muscle regions in appropriate proximity to the injury. In this case, the nerves were transferred to the pectoral area of the patientâs chest. This procedure provides for a more intuitive use of a prosthetic arm and allows for the natural sensation of grip strength and touch.
Source: sciencedaily.comAdded: 16 May 2007