A 28-year-old paralysed man has been able to feel physical sensations through a prosthetic device for the first time, in what is being described as a ‘major breakthrough’ by researchers.

The prosthetic device, which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency which is part of the US Department of Defense, was wired directly from the anonymous man’s brain to the mechanical hand. This allowed him to control the device with his thoughts and the sophisticated sensors enabled the man to feel sensations. When researchers gently touched the man’s prosthetic finger he reported their touch with almost 100% accuracy.

The technology is the latest in a number of developments in advanced prosthetics and, according to developers, is a major breakthrough as it offers ‘seamless bio-technological restoration of near-natural function’.

Imogen Wetton, a senior serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Manchester office, said: “Technology is constantly and rapidly evolving meaning people who have suffered a serious injury have an ever better chance of regaining their independence and increasing their mobility and limb function.

“This advanced system has helped a paralysed man feel sensations again, an astounding development which offers hope to serious injury survivors.

“Anyone who suffers a serious injury often faces a long and intensive rehabilitation period post injury and so any technology which may improve a person’s quality of life is something we are extremely excited to learn of.”