I³R, UAMS and Health Tech Industry Collaborate to Deliver Innovation for Impact


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A woman who lost her legs to amputation at age 5 is about to become the first person in the world to experience a sense of touch, grip force, and hand opening with a neural-enabled prosthetic hand.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Snell Prosthetics and Orthotics have received a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the technology, which works by harnessing the brain's ability to perceive the environment in which a person touches, holds, or opens a hand, reports the New York Times.

"We do a lot of prosthetic work with amputees, and the idea of being part of something that could give amputees sensation is incredibly meaningful," says a UAMS surgeon, who will perform the surgery on the woman.

The woman will be fitted with a custom-made neural-enabled prosthetic hand, which has a 3D printer to create 3D images of the user's hand and hand movements.

The images are then transferred to a computer, where they can be interpreted by the user's own brain.

The woman will then be able to touch, hold, and open the hand with these "gesture signals," which the computer then interprets and sends back to the user.

The woman will also be able to

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