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Prosthetic provides sense of touch to man who lost hand

Electrodes let him feel the difference between baseball and mandarin orange

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2:00pm, February 5, 2014

REACH OUT AND TOUCH ME  A hand prosthesis allowed its wearer to once again feel the stiffness and shape of objects. 

A new prosthetic hand allows its wearer to feel a firm orange, a fluffy cotton ball and a hard piece of wood. The device, described in the February 5 Science Translational Medicine, restored a man’s sense of touch by stimulating nerves in his arm. 

After Dennis Aabo Sørensen lost part of his left arm in a fireworks accident, researchers implanted electrodes onto his remaining arm nerves. When his prosthetic hand touched an object, these electrodes zapped Sørensen’s nerves, which then sent touch signals to his brain.

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