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Writer Fuel: New Prosthetics Allow Amputees to Feel Temperatures, Human Touch

man with prosthetic hand holds a woman's hand - deposit photos

For the first time, scientists enabled an amputee to feel temperature via his prosthetic hand, crossing what the researchers say is one of the final hurdles in being able to imbue prosthetics with the full spectrum of senses available in a human limb.

The team achieved this feat by implanting a small device in the patient’s prosthetic hand. This included a temperature sensor that was placed at the tip of the index finger and was linked to an apparatus, or thermode, connected to what remained of the patient’s arm. This created a feedback loop in which temperature changes detected by the sensor were relayed to the patient’s central nervous system; the brain then interpreted the temperature changes as being “felt” in the missing hand.

Fabrizio, a 57-year-old man from Italy whose last name has not been disclosed for privacy reasons, had his right arm amputated below his elbow when he was 20 years old and was the first person to receive the new device. Over more than a year, he participated in lab experiments that ultimately demonstrated the temperature-sensing abilities of his modified prosthetic limb.

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Full Story From Live Science

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