Danish man receives first prosthetic arm that allows him to feel again

We geeks all have the same platonic prosthesis ideal: Luke Skywalker’s badass Star Wars mech-hand. We’re getting there, bit by bit. Dennis Aabo Sørensen’s new hand is almost there; it let him feel again. The hand is the subject of an in-depth paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine today, and has been tested on Sørensen and Sørensen alone. The mecha-gripper works by tapping right into Sørensen’s nerves via electrodes in his arm that are stimulated by sensitive pressor sensors on the hand’s fingertips. 

Nine years ago, Dennis Aabo Sørensen severely wounded his left arm in a fireworks accident, and had to have it amputated. Now, a bionic hand has restored his ability to feel, the first time this has ever been done. Researchers embedded electrodes in Sørensen’s arm, and touch sensors in a prosthetic hand to stimulate his remaining nerves. With the hand, Sørensen was able to recognize different objects by their feel, and grasp them appropriately, according to the study detailed online today (Feb. 5) in the journal Science Translational Medicine. “I could feel things that I hadn’t been able to feel in over nine years,” Sørensen, who lives in Denmark, said in a statement.

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