Science and Health

New Prosthetic Technology Helps Patients 'Feel' Objects

One study from Ohio and one from Sweden garnered similar results — more freedom, movement and feeling for prosthesis wearers.

New Prosthetic Technology Helps Patients 'Feel' Objects
Case Western Reserve University

New technology is helping those with prosthetic limbs 'feel' objects once again. 

Igor Spetic lost his right arm in a manufacturing accident years ago. He's been through a series of experimental trials regarding prosthetic limbs, and now, with a new system developed by Case Western Reserve University out of Ohio, he can feel, adjust force and do much more with his prosthetic hand. (Video via MIT Technology Review

The Columbus Dispatch writes, "The system uses electrical stimulation to give amputees such as Spetic the sense of touch again, and in some cases, the ability to distinguish textures."

DR. DUSTIN TYLER VIA CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY"What I think is fascinating about this is the perception of touch actually occurs in the brain, not in the hand itself, so losing the limb is really just losing the switch turns that sensation on and off."

Spetic and Case Western University also made headlines back in December 2013 for similar reasons, so this recent news is more of an update on the research than a breakthrough.

But it also wasn't the only prosthetics news Wednesday. CBS brought attention to a related study published the same day. This one comes out of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. 

The study involved connecting the prosthesis to the bone, nerves and muscles through a process known as osseointergration. Previously, the electrodes controlling prosthetic arms have largely been placed on the skin. (Video via Max Ortiz-Catalan / Science Translational Medicine

 These findings were publishing in the journal Science Translational Medicine.