Artificial hand helps amputees feel just how hard to squeeze

WASHINGTON (AP) - A next-generation artificial hand is letting two amputees tell the difference between a soft or firm touch. It's another step toward developing prosthetics with a sense of touch, thanks to implanted electrodes that let them feel pressure.

Scientists from Case Western Reserve University studied how nerves fire to signal different amounts of pressure. They implanted electrodes in nerves in the stumps of the amputees' remaining limb, and attached a prosthetic with sensors.

They found the electrodes allowed the men to feel the same intensity of pressure in the artificial hand as in their other hand. Now the men are taking the next big step, testing the artificial hand at home, instead of the lab, as they go about their everyday lives.

The study is in Wednesday's journal Science Translational Medicine.


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