The Pros and Cons of the LifeHand Prosthetic Hand Essay

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In the current world of rapid technology advancement, the progress in the research and development of prosthetic limbs is facing an upward trend as well. As the production of prostheses begin to pick up pace, a particular bionic arm secures the spotlight, returning hope to the lives of every amputee - the LifeHand 2. The fact is that, although many prostheses seek to replace the missing limbs of amputees by detecting muscle movements, they fail to address the issue of sensory feedback and this is what makes the LifeHand 2 special - besides providing the user with neural-controllability, it also restores the sense of touch to its user.

LifeHand 2 is the name given to a bionic arm that is still in development. It is the refined successor
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In February 2013, LifeHand 2 was clinically tested for the first time on a patient, allowing him to once again regain his sense of touch which he had lost 9 years ago, in a fireworks accident. The clinical trial was a success and the team had met their goal – to restore real time sensory feedback in an amputee.

Although the trial was a success, the developers are well aware of the flaws in the prototype and will continue to work on LifeHand 2 to improve its functions and its design for the sake of practicality, as well as safety. The prosthetic hand will not be released for public usage anytime soon for it requires more clinical tests. According to Prof. Micera, it would take another couple of years before the bionic hand could be made widely available to the public.
Findings
How Does It Work? The implementation of computer and information technology was crucial in the wholesome functioning of LifeHand 2. The main components that facilitate the communication between the sensors and the brain were the four TIME electrodes that were implanted into the median and ulnar nerves on the patient’s arm. This implantation surgery was performed by Prof. Eduardo Marcos Fernadez and his team of surgeons and it lasted for 7 hours.

The TIME (Transverse Intrafascicular Multichannel Electrode) electrodes were designed by Prof. Stieglitz and his team of engineers. The largest of the electrodes was 350 micrometers in width, and each of them had 16 active sites.

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