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Each finger can be moved separately
Date:4/22/2008

It can hold a credit card, use a keyboard with the index finger, and lift a bag weighing up to 20 kg the worlds first commercially available pros-thetic hand that can move each finger separately and has an astounding range of grip configurations. For the first time worldwide a patient at the Orthopedic University Hospital in Heidelberg has tested both the i-LIMB hand in comparison with another innovative prosthesis, the so called Fluidhand. Eighteen-year-old Sren Wolf, who was born with only one hand, is enthusiastic about its capabilities.

The new prosthetic hand developed and distributed by the Scottish com-pany Touch Bionics certainly has advantages over previous models. For example, a comparable standard product from another manufacturer al-lows only a pinch grip using thumb, index, and middle finger, and not a grip using all five fingers. This does not allow a full-wrap grip of an object.

Myoelectric signals from the stump of the arm control the prosthesis

Complex electronics and five motors contained in the fingers enable every digit of the i-LIMB to be powered individually. A passive positioning of the thumb enables various grip configurations to be activated. The myoelectric signals from the stump control the prosthetic hand; muscle signals are picked up by electrodes on the skin and transferred to the control electronics in the prosthetic hand. Batteries provide the necessary power.

The Fluidhand from Karlsruhe, thus far developed only as a prototype that is also being tested in the Orthopedic University Hospital in Heidelberg, is based on a somewhat different principle. Unlike its predecessors, the new hand can close around objects, even those with irregular surfaces. A large contact surface and soft, passive form elements greatly reduce the gripping power required to hold onto such an object. The hand also feels softer, more elastic, and more natural than conventional hard prosthetic devices. '/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Annette Tuffs
annette.tuffs@med.uni-heidelberg.de
0049-622-156-4536
University Hospital Heidelberg
Source:Eurekalert  

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