Woman's Experimental Bionic Hand Passes Major Test With Flying Colors

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Scientists have detailed the case of a Swedish woman who has worn an advanced bionic limb for years without any major issues,

while experiencing significantly less pain than before. In new research this week, they’ve detailed the case of a Swedish woman who has successfully worn the advanced bionic limb for years with no major issues, while experiencing significantly less pain than before.

The woman, identified as Karin, suffered a farming injury that took much of her right arm below the elbow over 20 years ago. Karin, like many amputees who have phantom-limb pain, took high doses to control it. Karin also found conventional prosthetics too cumbersome to use in daily life. But several years ago, Karin became one of the first patients enrolled in the DeTOP project, an expansive research study funded by the European Union and involving dozens of scientists across Europe that’s looking to develop the next generation of bionic limbs.

Another demonstration of the Mia Hand.
Image: Ortiz-Catalan et al/Science Robotics

Karin’s prosthesis was created by the Italian company Presilia and is nicknamed Mia Hand. It is equipped with the latest technology, such as AI. To further enhance its functionality, the surgeons used osseointegration, which is a procedure that directly bonds bone to the implant. This creates a stronger mechanical bond. The surgeons also implanted electrodes into her muscles and nerves as well as rewired her remaining nerves. The result of the procedure is a robotic arm that’s connected directly to Karin’s Neuromusculoskeletal System. It’s controlled and provided sensory feedback by Karin’s nerve system, just like a flesh-and-blood human hand. According to reports, her new hand is able perform 80% of typical daily tasks. The team’s findings on Mia Hand’s initial success are

published in the journal Science Robotics.“Karin was the first person with below-elbow amputation who received this new concept of a highly integrated bionic hand that can be used independently and reliably in daily life,” said lead study author Max Ortiz-Catalan, head of neural prosthetics research at the Bionics Institute in Australia. The team’s findings on Mia Hand’s initial success are

published in the journal Science Robotics.

“Karin was the first person with below-elbow amputation who received this new concept of a highly integrated bionic hand that can be used independently and reliably in daily life,” said lead study author Max Ortiz-Catalan, head of neural prosthetics research at the Bionics Institute in Australia, in a

statement

from the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, one of the many other universities involved in the project.

Bionic hand merges with user’s nervous and skeletal systems, remaining functional after years

He added: “The fact that she has been able to use her prosthesis comfortably and effectively in daily activities for years is a promising testament to the potential life-changing capabilities of this novel technology for individuals facing limb loss.”01001010Karin is one of three patients enrolled in the DeTOP project. While it will take some time to complete the research, the goal is for these prosthetics to become the standard for upper-limb amputees. Karin has already received a great gift.