Researchers have developed one of the world’s most advanced prosthetic arms which is integrated with the patients’ nerves to work seamlessly via mind control. The innovative bionic system allows patients to maneuver limbs with thought and even feed sensations back to the brain.
Unlike traditional socket prostheses, the neuromusculoskeletal prosthesis integrates nerves, muscles, and brain activity, essentially allowing patients to control the arm instinctively, like a real limb. The system is so advanced that patients don’t even have to be trained to use it.
The prosthesis is anchored into the patient’s bone, and electrodes are implanted into the muscles and nerves to facilitate sensory feedback.
The research team is made up of members from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg, Integrum AB, Medical University of Vienna, and MIT. The team reports that three Swedish patients have lived with the prototype for many years with great success. Initial patients say the device doesn’t feel like a prosthesis, but an actual part of themselves.
While the technology is extremely promising, researchers expect it will take a few years before it becomes widely available.