The West

Bionic hand has sense of touch
Amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen holding an orange while wearing sensory feedback enabled prosthesis. Picture: Associated Press

An amputee has been able to experience touch again for the first time using a prosthetic hand.

Sensors in the fingers of the hand send electrical signals to receptors implanted in nerves in Dennis Aabo Sorensen's upper arm.

Mr Sorensen, 36, from Denmark, was able to distinguish between hard, soft, round and square objects - even while blindfolded and wearing earplugs - during a four-week trial.

It is believed that the technology could be a step towards creating prostheses that allow the wearers to sense textures and temperature.

The team behind the limb said it would mean amputees could hold objects without having to watch their hands to detect the tightness of their grip.

"It was quite amazing because suddenly I could feel something I had not been feeling for nine years," he said.

"The sensory feedback was incredible. You can feel round things and hard things and soft things.

"The feedback was totally new to me and suddenly, when I was doing the movements, I could feel what I was doing instead of looking at what I was doing."

Mr Sorensen lost his left hand nine years ago after an accident with a firework.

Scientists have already developed prosthetic hands and arms that can be controlled using thoughts by connecting electrodes to the remaining nerves in a patient's shoulder.


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