New Control System Allows Greater Control Over Prosthetic Limbs
November 15, 2007 11:09 AM
comment(s) - last by
Research promises a more capable prosthetic limb
There may be new hope for patients suffering from limb loss. A new control system pioneered by Todd A. Kuiken, M.D., Ph.D., a professor at
and physiatrist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, allows fine manipulation of prosthetic arms and suggests that even more control is possible.
Targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) allows prosthesis to respond directly to the brain's signaling, rather than relying on muscle movements like in typical prosthetics. Kuiken came up with the idea for TMR as a graduate student in the 1980s. Rather than learning to control muscle groups in the chest, patients who have undergone TMR simply think of opening their hand, and the hand on the prosthetic opens.
TMR works by rerouting the remaining nerves from the amputated limb to muscles in the chest. Instead of controlling the chest muscles, when a patient wants to grasp something with his hand, the signals from the rerouted nerves cause the muscles in the chest to flex. An electromyogram picks up the electrical signals from the muscle's contraction, and sends it to a microprocessor in the prosthesis. The processor decodes the signal and moves the limb in the intended manner.
So far the system is capable of opening and closing a hand, and bending and straightening an elbow. The microprocessor can be programmed for more signals and further research being done on 16 different movements in the arm and hand promises more range of movement than just the elbow and hand. Fine hand movements such as grasping a pen or tool are not out of the question.
Kuiken and colleagues have also begun work with the military to help soldiers have lost limbs. Brooke Army Medical Center and the Walter Reed Army Hospital are actively involved in the project.
"We're excited to move forward in doing this surgery with our soldiers some day. We've been able to demonstrate remarkable control of artificial limbs and it's an exciting neural machine interface that provides a lot of hope," Kuiken said of the project.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
11/15/2007 2:24:20 PM
I assume this is connecting them up to the damaged nerve endings themselves and letting the brain sort it out?
I remember on tomorrow's world years ago seeing scientists reattach the spinal cord of a lab mouse with stem cells - they didn't bother to route the nerves, they let them criss cross etc - the mouse's brain was able to adapt and provide the correct coordination for muscle movements.
RE: Next step?
11/15/2007 3:33:34 PM
"TMR works by rerouting the remaining nerves from the amputated limb to muscles in the chest. Instead of controlling the chest muscles, when a patient wants to grasp something with his hand, the signals from the rerouted nerves cause the muscles in the chest to flex."
I assumed that too, till I read that far. So no, it's no direct nerve connection, but a rerouting of the normal nerves to the chest and the prosthetic watches that for movements. It wouldn't be whole chest movements I am guessing, but rather small twitches in spots that wouldn't do so if you were thinking about actually moving the chest on purpose instead of the hand (and having that hand signal sent to the chest).
It's a nifty system that makes things easier and more intuitive, but no where near as advanced as if they did hook up to nerves directly, which would be a major breakthrough. At least that's what I gather from reading it.
RE: Next step?
11/16/2007 5:00:56 AM
Sorry, on re-reading my post, I can see how you've interpreted it that way, poor sentence construction on my part.
I meant will the next step be going direct from the nerves.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Windows 10 to Get New Features in October Service Release 2 (SR2)
July 30, 2015, 5:50 PM
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information