Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University researchers have developed an interface that can convey a sense of touch from 20 spots on a prosthetic hand. It directly stimulates nerve bundles, known as peripheral nerves, in the arms of patients. Two people have been fitted with the interface to date. The implants continue to work after 18 months, which is notable because electrical interfaces to nerve tissue can gradually degrade in performance.
According to Case Western Professor Dustin Miller, who is leadning the project: “The work opens up the possibility that prosthetic limbs could one day provide enduring and nuanced feedback to humans.”