By implanting an array of electrodes into the motor cortex of a quadriplegic patient’s brain, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have enabled the patient to control a robotic, prosthetic hand. The new treatment, published yesterday (December 16) in The Lancet, is a benchmark in thought-controlled movement that rivals the way an unimpaired brain directs limb movement.
“This bioinspired brain-machine interface is a remarkable technological and biomedical achievement,” Professor Grégoire Courtine of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) said in a press release. “Though plenty of challenges lie ahead, these sorts of systems are rapidly approaching the point of clinical fruition.”
Researchers implanted the electrode array into the brain of a 52-year-old, quadriplegic female patient. The array connected to a robotic hand, which mimics movements of a human wrist and fingers. Though the patient underwent 14 weeks of computer-assisted training, she was able to control the prosthetic within the first 2 days.
Written By: Beth Marie Molecontinue to source article at the-scientist.com