Revolutionizing Prosthetics program achieves goal of restoring sensation
A 28-year-old who has been paralyzed for more than a decade as a result of a spinal cord injury has become the first person to be able to “feel” physical sensations through a prosthetic hand directly connected to his brain, and even identify which mechanical finger is being gently touched.
The advance, made possible by sophisticated neural technologies developed under DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics points to a future in which people living with paralyzed or missing limbs will not only be able to manipulate objects by sending signals from their brain to robotic devices, but also be able to sense precisely what those devices are touching.
“We’ve completed the circuit,” said DARPA program manager Justin Sanchez. “Prosthetic limbs that can be controlled by thoughts are showing great promise, but without feedback from signals traveling back to the brain it can be difficult to achieve the level of control needed to perform precise movements. By wiring a sense of touch from a mechanical hand directly into the brain, this work shows the potential for seamless bio-technological restoration of near-natural function.”
The clinical work involved the placement of electrode arrays onto the paralyzed volunteer’s sensory cortex—the brain region responsible for identifying tactile sensations such as pressure. In addition, the team placed arrays on the volunteer’s motor cortex, the part of the brain that directs body movements.
Wires were run from the arrays on the motor cortex to a mechanical hand developed by the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at Johns Hopkins University. That gave the volunteer—whose identity is being withheld to protect his privacy—the capacity to control the hand’s movements with his thoughts, a feat previously accomplished under the DARPA program by another person with similar injuries.
Then, breaking new neurotechnological ground, the researchers went on to provide the volunteer a sense of touch. The APL hand contains sophisticated torque sensors that can detect when pressure is being applied to any of its fingers, and can convert those physical “sensations” into electrical signals. The team used wires to route those signals to the arrays on the volunteer’s brain.
In the very first set of tests, in which researchers gently touched each of the prosthetic hand’s fingers while the volunteer was blindfolded, he was able to report with nearly 100 percent accuracy which mechanical finger was being touched. The feeling, he reported, was as if his own hand were being touched.
“At one point, instead of pressing one finger, the team decided to press two without telling him,” said Sanchez, who oversees the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program. “He responded in jest asking whether somebody was trying to play a trick on him. That is when we knew that the feelings he was perceiving through the robotic hand were near-natural.”
Sanchez described the basic findings on Thursday at Wait, What? A Future Technology Forum, hosted by DARPA in St. Louis. Further details about the work are being withheld pending peer review and acceptance for publication in a scientific journal.
The restoration of sensation with implanted neural arrays is one of several neurotechnology-based advances emerging from DARPA’s 18-month-old Biological Technologies Office, Sanchez said. “DARPA’s investments in neurotechnologies are helping to open entirely new worlds of function and experience for individuals living with paralysis and have the potential to benefit people with similarly debilitating brain injuries or diseases,” he said.
The Latest on: Neurotechnology
[google_news title=”” keyword=”neurotechnology” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Neurotechnology
- Face biometrics from Incode for soccer game access expanding, Neurotechnology launches VMSon November 23, 2022 at 10:40 am
Incode has reached a deal to make its Fan ID biometrics available across all big league Mexican soccer stadiums, while Neurotechnology launched a biometric VMS.
- Neurotechnology Releases NCheck Visitor Management System for Convenient and Accurate Biometric Visitor Access Controlon November 22, 2022 at 5:45 am
Utilizing biometric identification, the NCheck VMS solution is designed to manage visitor access to any institution or company, including ...
- Neurotechnology unveils SentiVeillance softwareon November 21, 2022 at 7:01 pm
The solution performs real-time biometric face identification, people and vehicle tracking and vehicle license plate recognition.
- Neurotechnology Announces the Release of SentiVeillance Cluster, Ready-…on November 18, 2022 at 9:44 am
Neurotechnology, a provider of deep learning-based solutions and high-precision biometric identification technologies, today announced the release of SentiVeillance Cluster for real-time biometric ...
- Neurotechnology announced Sentivellance Clusteron November 18, 2022 at 9:43 am
Biometric identification company Neurotechnology has announced the release of the Sentiveillance Cluster, a real time face identification, and vehicle/license plat tracking solution.
- Neurotechnology Market Growth Demand and Developments 2022: Key Drivers, Future Scope, Leading Players Update, and Opportunity Forecast to 2029on November 16, 2022 at 1:17 am
Nov 16, 2022 (The Expresswire) -- "Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry." Global “Neurotechnology Market” ...
- Neurotechnology Unveils Future for Brain Disorderson November 13, 2022 at 3:33 am
Brain activity may be decoded and shaped better through future interventions including neurotechnology — the combination of neuroscience and technology in humans as per a study published in the ...
- Reflecting on neurotechnology as the next frontier of medical treatmenton November 9, 2022 at 11:40 am
Neurotechnology—the combination of neuroscience and technology—has the potential to both "decode" and shape brain activity, with important implications for future interventions in humans.
- Neurotechnology: The next frontier of medical treatmenton November 9, 2022 at 9:03 am
Neurotechnology encompasses an increasing array of devices, algorithms, and methodologies that can monitor or modulate neural activity, including nerve stimulators, brain implants, and bioprostheses.
- Visit to Federal Centre for Brain and Neurotechnologyon November 9, 2022 at 8:34 am
Vladimir Putin visited the Federal Centre for Brain and Neurotechnology at the Federal Medical-Biological Agency.
via Bing News