Dr Rickard Brånemark tests the functionality of the world’s first muscle and nerve controlled arm prosthesis permanently implanted in an amputee.

 

Electrodes for prosthetic arm permanently implanted into patient for first time

By David Szondy
February 26, 2013

It took some time, but the age of the cyborg is upon us. For the first time, neuromuscular electrodes that enable a prosthetic arm and hand to be controlled by thought have been permanently implanted into the nerves and muscles of an amputee. The operation was carried out recently by a surgical team led by Dr Rickard Brånemark at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Goteborg, Sweden.

We first covered the Chalmers University artificial arm last November. It goes a step beyond current motorized prostheses as it is intended as a permanent part of the patient’s body. This helps to solve the two main problems of such prostheses: the socket to fit the arm to the patient and the pickups used to control it.

Instead of a tight, uncomfortable socket fitted to the arm stump, the Chalmers University arm is attached to the stump by fusing a titanium socket to the bone itself in a procedure called osseointegration. The skin pickups used in many mechanical arms to provide the user with control by muscle impulses are replaced by electrodes that have been permanently implanted in nerves and muscles, so commands can come directly from the brain to the arm. While the arm itself can be detached, the socket and electrodes are permanent.

Read more: Electrodes for prosthetic arm permanently implanted into patient for first time — gizmag.

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