Mind-controlled arm prostheses that 'feel' are now a part of everyday life (video)

May 19, 2020

PHOTO: The neuromusculoskeletal prosthesis has a direct connection to a person's nerves, muscles and skeleton. The neural interfaces are electrodes wrapped around the severed nerves. The muscular interfaces consist of electrodes implanted on the biceps and triceps muscles. The skeletal interface comprises a titanium screw that is osseointegrated within the bone - meaning that the bone cells are directly attached to it, providing mechanical stability. Part of the skeletal interface extends out of the body through the skin and connects to the prosthetic arm. Electrical connectors embedded in the skeletal interface provide bidirectional communication between the prosthesis and the electrodes implanted in nerves and muscles. Illustration: Sara Manca /Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports on three Swedish patients who have lived, for several years, with this new technology - one of the world's most integrated interfaces between human and machine.

The advance is unique: the patients have used a mind-controlled prosthesis in their everyday life for up to seven years. For the last few years, they have also lived with a new function - sensations of touch in the prosthetic hand. This is a new concept for artificial limbs, which are called neuromusculoskeletal prostheses - as they are connected to the user's nerves, muscles, and skeleton

People with arm amputations can experience sensations of touch in a mind-controlled arm prosthesis that they use in everyday life.