Good news in medicine: doctors have managed to develop a prosthetic hand that is controlled by the power of the brain
Good news in medicine: doctors have managed to develop a prosthetic hand that is controlled by the power of the brain and transmits the sensations of touch. A 26-year-old Italian Pier Paolo Petruzzello, who had to amputate his left arm after an accident, received a bionic palm and wrist
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“It's all about the brain, the ability to concentrate,” says Petruzzello. “When you think of this thing as if it were your own hand, it helps.”
Experiments on the implantation of bionic limbs have been successfully carried out before, but they were much smaller scale. And now European scientists have managed to achieve complete subordination of the brain from an artificial hand. The prosthesis is connected directly to the nerves that receive signals from the brain. The mechanism that is used to control all of our limbs is exactly the same.
Scientists sought to create a prosthesis connected to the nervous system, which could serve a person not for months, but for years. So far, this limb is not fixed on the stump, but is only connected to it with the help of electrodes. But even this is quite enough for the prosthesis to clearly fulfill all the commands sent to it by the brain of Pier Paolo. In a month, the Italian learned to move his fingers, put them into a fist, take various objects in his hand and make other movements.
"We won't divulge some of the gestures of this artificial hand because they're not very decent," laughs Paolo Maria Cossini, a neurologist who led a team of doctors at the University of Rome and the Campus Bio-Medico hospital, which specializes in medical research.
Well, when will Pier Paolo finally be able to get a full-fledged robotic prosthesis? Scientists say it will take another two to three years of research.