Prosthetic control using implanted electrodes and osseointegration (OPRA) : The Natural Control of Artificial Limbs' channel
The world's first amputee to receive a prosthetic arm directly connected to his bone, nerves and muscles has managed to perform highly complicated tasks, all with the power of his mind, a recent study has revealed.
The 42-year-old patient, identified only as Magnus, lost his right arm over a decade back. He was originally fitted with a prosthesis that was controlled via electrodes placed over the skin. In 2013, an osseointegrated (bone-anchored) prosthetic arm was fitted onto Magnus by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. Results of the revolutionary surgery were recently outlined in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
"We have used osseointegration to create a long-term stable fusion between man and machine, where we have integrated them at different levels," said lead study author Max Ortiz Catalan, research scientist at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The artificial arm is directly attached to the skeleton, thus providing mechanical stability. Then the human's biological control system, that is nerves and muscles, is also interfaced to the machine's control system via neuromuscular electrodes. This creates an intimate union between the body and the machine; between biology and mechatronics."
Since the operation, Magnus has been able to perform his physically demanding job as a truck driver in the north of Sweden. According to a recent press release, he has managed to cope with all of challenges thrown his way, both professional and otherwise. Whether clamping his trailer load, operating machinery, unpacking eggs or tying his children's skates, his cybernetic digits have been up to the task.