Implanted Electrodes improve prostheses control

Service Engineering

Encouraging results have been reported from Bioengineers at Imperial College London and the Medical University of Vienna, who have carried out a small test on amputees with nerve spliced electrodes to control a below elbow prostheses.

The projects aims to improve the current control given from a prosthetics to ensure amputees gain more confidence in being able to use prosthetics in everyday life. The research involves relocating nerves within the stump, implanting a wirelessly chargeable electrode and then fitting the new prostheses. The sensors in the prosthetic detect subtle movements in the muscles of the upper arm and converts these into the movement of the robotic arm and hand.

“Bioengineers report postive test results on improved prostheses control thanks to nerve spliced electrodes. “

“We wanted to improve amputee’s quality of life and address the issues of frustration and in some cases embarrassment that can be caused for some users,” Said Prof Dario Farina of Imperial College, a co-author on the paper. “Current prosthetics have come a long way since their inception, and although we have only tested the technology on 3 people, the results are promising, but there is still room for improvement.”

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