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Bionic Hand Restores Amputee's Sense Of Touch
Scientists have tested a bionic hand which is capable of restoring a sense of touch to amputees.
Dennis Sorensen, from Denmark, has completed a one-month trial of the bionic limb run by Swiss and Italian scientists.
He said he was able to feel the shape and texture of objects using the robotic hand.
"The sensory feedback was incredible. I could feel things that I hadn't been able to feel in over nine years," Mr Sorensen said.
"When I held an object, I could feel if it was soft or hard, round or square."
Mr Sorensen lost his hand following an accident handling fireworks on a family holiday.
He usually wears a conventional prosthesis that detects muscle movement in the stump of his arm.
He said he enjoyed being able to experience the sense of touch again.
"I was more than happy to volunteer for the clinical trial, not only for myself, but to help other amputees as well," he said.
The artificial hand was fitted to Mr Sorensen in January 2013 at Gemelli Hospital in Rome.
The limb detects information about touch using electrical signals from artificial tendons controlling finger movement.
"This is the first time in neuro-prosthetics that sensory feedback has been restored and used by an amputee in real-time to control an artificial limb," said Dr Silvestro Micera, from the Federal Polytechnique School of Lausanne in Switzerland.
The results of the Lifehand 2 project have been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Scientists believe the artificial limb represents the first step towards a true bionic hand which could feel and move.
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