Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University managed to develop an artificial hand that can make amputees have the sense of touch again. According to the researchers, people should be able to feel the difference between a soft and a firm touch. This discovery could change the way we use prosthetics. In the future, people could be able to feel even though they are amputees.
Researchers managed this project after they implanted electrodes. These made the patients feel the same intensity of pressure in their artificial hand as they could feel in the other hand. There was a lot of work before they were able to develop the artificial hand. When you want to touch something, you hand gives you enough force to do this. The sense of touch is sending messages to the brain so the muscles can squeeze the thing in a second.
Unfortunately, amputees do not have this ability. They have to pay attention to every motion and judge it so they will not drop something. This is difficult even for people who have experience. This is why most amputees will not shake hands or involve in activities that could put in danger, other people. This new artificial hand is able to make them feel again and it will make their lives easier.
According to the researchers, if people have a natural feedback, they will have to concentrate less on the artificial hand and more on the operation. It is difficult to think all the time about your motions.
Researchers presented a case of a man who was able after the experiment to feel the touch of his 2-year-old granddaughter. He explained it was for the first time when he did not fear about hurting them. Most of the times he would just have taken off his artificial hand to make sure that the child is safe. The man lost his right arm 11 years ago, in an accident.
He is just an example of how this new artificial hand could change our world. There are million of amputees who want a second chance to feel their children or to shake hands with their friends without being afraid they could hurt somebody.
What do you think about this discovery? Will amputees be able to feel with the new artificial hand?
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