From the Laboratory to the Reality of Daily Life
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Christian Kandlbauer, who lost both of his arms in a high voltage accident, uses a unique development which until recently sounded almost like science fiction: An arm prosthesis, the first of its kind in the world, which he controls solely through the power of his mind.
In 2008 Otto Bock presented a prototype of the first mind controlled prosthetic limb. Now the company presents the first mind controlled prosthesis suitable for every day use. This unique development, Christian Kandlbauer uses on the left side, enhanced his regained independence and confidence enabling him not only to take up his original occupation but also to make the journey to his place of work independently in his own car.
In cooperation with research partners in the USA, Otto Bock utilized existing expertise of Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) from Todd Kuiken, MD, PhD of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, teamed together with specialists from Vienna's General Hospital performing TMR on patients. This involves transferring of residual nerves to the pectoral muscle so that signals coming from the brain are used to control the prosthesis.
As emphasized by Dr Hubert Egger, head of the project, a reduction in weight down to 2.5 kg and the appearance of a natural arm was essential for its use in every day life.
Under laboratory conditions and with the help of micro-sensors that have been integrated into the index finger, Christian Kandlbauer is also able to feel just like he did before the accident. However, this fascinating further development will still take some time to perfect. Dr. Hans Dietl, CEO of Otto Bock HealthCare Products in Vienna, expects to bring the sensory arm prosthesis to market in approximately four years.
More information: www.ottobock.com/press/tmr
Otto Bock HealthCare