October 14, 2014

Mind-controlled prosthesis breakthrough

Over a year ago a Swedish arm amputee got the opportunity to try the world’s first nerve and mind controlled arm prosthesis. Today results by far exceed the expectations.

The prosthesis has had a significant impact on the patient’s everyday life. Before he felt limited by his socket prosthesis. Unreliable as it was, the electrodes connected to it could suddenly stop working if the temperature was either too high or too low. The new solution has enabled him to perform all sorts of daily activities, ranging from securing the truck load at work to tying his kid’s shoelaces. The prosthesis now feels like an integrated part of the body.

The osseointegrated human-machine gateway technique (OHMG) used in the surgery is a further development of the pioneering implant system Osseointegrated Prosthesis for the Rehabilitation of Amputees (OPRA), developed by Dr Rickard Brånemark at the Centre of Advanced Reconstruction of Extremities at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the only of its kind in Sweden. This means that a titanium implant is used to anchor the prosthesis directly to the skeleton. Meanwhile, neuromuscular electrodes are implanted to record signals which are transmitted via the osseointegrated implant to the prostheses, where the signals are translated into motions.

Now the plan is to begin a clinical study with a larger group of patients at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. This means that the solution may be available internationally in a few years.

Read the press release to learn more about the OHMG technique developed in close collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the University of Gothenburg, and Integrum.

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