The bionic leg that feels

"The bionic, it will make us question what it means to be human" Djurica Resanovic lost his leg because of a motorcycle accident several years ago. Due to th

The bionic leg that feels
"The bionic, it will make us question what it means to be human"

Djurica Resanovic lost his leg because of a motorcycle accident several years ago. Due to the injuries, surgeons had to amputate his leg above the knee. Today, Djurica can say that he has a new leg. Although bionic, thanks to the new technology neuroprostética , the leg has been merged with the rest of the body and Djuric, during a clinical trial, has been able to feel, after many years, his leg and his foot, as if it were his own leg. "He didn't need to concentrate to walk, only look forward and take a step. is Already I do not need to look where is my leg to keep from falling, , " he says.

These results have been possible thanks to a team of scientists from a european consortium led by swiss institutions, ETH Zurich and EPFL spin-off SensArs Neuroprosthetics, in collaboration with the institutions in Belgrade (Serbia), which have been characterized and successfully implemented the technology of bionic leg with three amputees. The results appear in today's edition of "Science Translational Medicine".

"We have shown that requires less mental effort to control the bionic leg because the amputee feels their prosthesis belongs to their own body", says Stanisa Raspopovic,a professor from ETH Zurich and co-founder of the spin-off EPFL SensArs Neuroprosthetics.

did Not need to concentrate to walk, only look forward and take a step. I don't need to look where is my leg to keep from falling,

Stanisa, who led the study added: "it Is the first prosthesis in the world for an amputee s above the knee equipped with sensory feedback. We show that the feedback is crucial to relieve the mental burden of wearing a prosthesis that, in turn, leads to a better performance and ease of use".

With a blindfold and earplugs, Resanovic, could feel his prototype of bionic leg, thanks to the sensory information that came wirelessly via electrodes placed surgically in the intact nervous system of the trunnions. These electrodes traverse the tibial nerve intact instead of wrapping it . This approach has already proven to be efficient for studies of the hand bionic led by Silvestro Micera, a co-author of the publication, the co-founder of SensArs Neuroprotésica.

"I realized when they touched the big toe of the foot, the heel or any other place of the foot. You might even say how he flex the knee," says Resanovic.

the fundamental principle of neuro-engineering is to merge body and machine. Involves mimicking the electrical signals that the nervous system would have received normally from the leg of the actual person

Resanovic is one of the three amputees, all with a transfemoral amputation –above the knee-that took part in a clinical study of three months to test the new technology of bionic leg that carries the neuro-engineering a step further, providing a promising solution to this situation highly disabling condition that affects more than 4 million people in Europe and the U.S.

Thanks to the feelings detailed in the plant of the foot is artificial and the artificial knee, the three patients were able to maneuver through obstacles without the need for look your artificial limb while walking. They could stumble against the objects and mitigate the fall. And what is more important, the evidence of brain imaging and psychophysical confirmed that the brain was the least requested with the bionic leg, leaving more mental capacity available to successfully complete the various tasks.

These results complement a recent study that demonstrated the clinical benefits of the bionic technology , as the reduction of pain and fatigue phantom limb .

t the tests of brain imaging and psychophysical confirmed that the brain was the least requested with the bionic leg - Francesco M. PetriniConexión between the body and the machine

the fundamental principle of neuro-engineering is to merge body and machine. Involves mimicking the electrical signals that the nervous system would have received normally from the leg of the actual person. Specifically, the prototype of bionic leg is equipped with 7 sensors along the sole of the foot and 1 encoder on the knee that detects the angle of flexion. These sensors generate information about the touch and movement of the prosthesis. Then, the signals without processing is modified by an intelligent algorithm in biological signals that are sent to the nervous system of the stump to the tibial nerve through electrodes intraneurales, and these signals reach the brain for interpretation.

Is the first prosthesis in the world for amputees above the knee, equipped with sensory feedback

"we Believe that electrodes intraneurales are key to providing information and biocompatible to the nervous system for a large number of applications neuroprotésicas", explains Silvestro Micera, a co-author of the publication.

Micera continues to innovate in the field of neuroscience translational using electrodes intraneurales, such as the hand bionics, the stimulation of the optic nerve and the vagus nerve stimulation for heart transplant patients.

Updated Date: 02 October 2019, 23:00

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