Connected to Your Brain

Imagine a prosthesis that didn’t require a cup or socket system but was, instead, attached to titanium anchored to the bone and directly connected to nerves and muscles. It’s not just a sci-fi fiction kind of artificial limb now!

Thanks to the combined efforts of biomedical engineer Max Ortiz Catalan, Sweden’s Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Chalmers Technological University, and Integrum AB, an implant company, this kind of new prosthesis technology is more than just a dream.

In early 2013, a Swedish amputee became the first person outfitted with this incredible bionic limb through a process known as osseointegration, which means the prosthesis connects to a titanium implant anchored to the bone.

On October 8, 2014, the study, “An osseointegrated human-machine gateway for long-term sensory feedback and motor control of artificial limbs” was published in Science Translational Medicine. It details how the team followed the Swedish amputee for over 12 months and found the implanted electrodes were much more reliable than surface ones.

Not only were the implanted electrodes more reliable, but they allowed the man to move the prosthesis with much more precision – and reportedly less effort. Researchers found that it didn’t matter how the limb was positioned, and environmental conditions didn’t interfere with functionality.

That’s not all. While this type of prosthesis isn’t available in Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey, or Marquette as yet, it represents a huge advancement in prosthetic technology. Because the prosthetic is a bi-directional interface, the prosthesis also sends sensory feedback from the artificial limb to the brain.

ABC News reported last summer that this cutting-edge osseointegration system has been approved for limited use in the United States. This breakthrough prosthesis technology is being tested at the University of California San Francisco and for wounded veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Turn to the experts at Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics for the latest information about prosthesis options available in Michigan. They been offering expert prosthetic services in Michigan since 1955 and you can trust us to keep watching where prosthetics technology is headed.

Come and visit Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics in more than 20 locations including Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey, and Marquette.

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