Regenerative nerve interface enhances precision and durability of hand prostheses

March 04, 2020

Researchers have found that a new nerve interface technology endows upper limb amputees with greater control and precision when using prosthetic hands. The interface, which worked for almost a year without adjustments in four limb amputees, could improve the durability of upper limb prostheses and enhance the quality of life for patients with upper limb loss, including by potentially reducing pre-existing pain. Peripheral nerve interfaces control neuroprostheses by registering signals from nerves in the remaining limb and translating them into movements. Nerve interfaces allow people who have lost limbs to intuitively control prosthetic replacements and to sense pressure and touch. However, many interfaces lose their function over time and require readjustment, and most platforms give implanted amputees only a limited range of independent movements. Phillip Vu and colleagues had previously created the regenerative peripheral nerve interface (RPNI) - an implanted interface that offers superior fine motor control of prosthetic hands. The RPNIs consist of a peripheral nerve that has been cut and implanted into a graft of muscle, which then regenerates and develops nerves and blood vessels over three months. In this study, the scientists implanted their RPNIs into four upper limb amputees and tested their durability and function. The RPNIs allowed the participants to make quick and complex finger and thumb movements with a prosthetic hand in real-time. The individuals also performed well in functional tests, such as grasping and moving small objects, and the interface worked for up to 300 days without requiring recalibration. Vu et al. caution that further studies are needed to compare the benefits of RPNIs with other surgical approaches.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Blood Vessels Articles from Brightsurf:

Biofriendly protocells pump up blood vessels
In a new study published today in Nature Chemistry, Professor Stephen Mann and Dr Mei Li from Bristol's School of Chemistry, together with Associate Professor Jianbo Liu and colleagues at Hunan University and Central South University in China, prepared synthetic protocells coated in red blood cell fragments for use as nitric oxide generating bio-bots within blood vessels.

Specific and rapid expansion of blood vessels
Upon a heart infarct or stroke, rapid restoration of blood flow, and oxygen delivery to the hypo perfused regions is of eminent importance to prevent further damage to heart or brain.

Flexible and biodegradable electronic blood vessels
Researchers in China and Switzerland have developed electronic blood vessels that can be actively tuned to address subtle changes in the body after implantation.

Lumpy proteins stiffen blood vessels of the brain
Deposits of a protein called ''Medin'', which manifest in virtually all older adults, reduce the elasticity of blood vessels during aging and hence may be a risk factor for vascular dementia.

Cancer cells take over blood vessels to spread
In laboratory studies, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University researchers observed a key step in how cancer cells may spread from a primary tumor to a distant site within the body, a process known as metastasis.

Novel function of platelets in tumor blood vessels found
Scientists at Uppsala University have discovered a hitherto unknown function of blood platelets in cancer.

Blood vessels can make you fat, and yet fit
IBS scientists have reported Angiopoietin-2 (Angpt2) as a key driver that inhibits the accumulation of potbellies by enabling the proper transport of fatty acid into general circulation in blood vessels, thus preventing insulin resistance.

Brothers in arms: The brain and its blood vessels
The brain and its surrounding blood vessels exist in a close relationship.

Feeling the pressure: How blood vessels sense their environment
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba discovered that Thbs1 is a key extracellular mediator of mechanotransduction upon mechanical stress.

Human textiles to repair blood vessels
As the leading cause of mortality worldwide, cardiovascular diseases claim over 17 million lives each year, according to World Health Organization estimates.

Read More: Blood Vessels News and Blood Vessels Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.