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Medical News & Perspectives
June 9, 2015

Advanced Prosthetics Provide More Functional Limbs

JAMA. 2015;313(22):2209-2211. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5144

In an experiment at the University of Pittsburgh, a woman with quadriplegia uses her thoughts to operate a robotic arm to eat a piece of chocolate (Wodlinger B et al. J Neural Eng. doi:10.1088/1741-2560/12/1/016011 [published online December 16, 2014]). In a study at Case Western Reserve University, a man who lost his hand in an accident senses the texture of a cotton ball swept along the back of his prosthetic hand (Tan DW et al. Sci Transl Med. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008669 [published online October 8, 2014]). These remarkable feats demonstrate what advances in biomedical engineering have made possible for people living with limb loss or paralysis, and the technologies being developed at research centers across the country are light-years ahead of the prosthetics that have been used for decades.

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