A £1.4 million project will aim to develop a prosthetic hand with the ability to sense temperature and pressure and communicate it to the brain
Scientists at Newcastle University plan to develop a ‘bionic’ hand which can sense pressure and temperature and send the information back to the brain.
As part of a £1.4million project, scientists are aiming to develop electrodes which attach to nerve endings in a person’s arm, allowing two way communication between the brain and hand. This technology could allow its user to pick up objects while not looking, something that is difficult without a sense of touch.
If successful, the technology could revolutionise the design of prosthetic limbs and allow people who have lost a limb to function at a higher level.
The proposed bionic hand would work using a plug and socket system with the prosthetic fitting over the end of the limb. It would be a huge advance for those born without limbs as well as those who have undergone an amputation or suffered a stroke or brain injury.
Imogen Wetton, a serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Manchester office said: “Prosthetic limbs have been available for some time, however recent research and scientific developments mean that they are becoming increasingly advanced.
“This latest technology could dramatically change the lives of people who have lost or were born without a limb as it would enable them to feel pressure and temperature and carry out tasks which people with full use of their limbs take for granted, such as picking up a piece of fruit without having to look at it or bruise it, or picking up a cup of tea with the correct grip.
“At Thompsons, we work closely with rehabilitation experts and client support groups to best advise and support our clients in their rehabilitation. We constantly monitor latest developments to see if they could help our clients live independently following an amputation. We know this is early stages of research but we hope it is successful and this prosthetic becomes a reality in the near future.”
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