(University of Pittsburgh) Devices commonly implanted for chronic pain could expand patient access to prosthetic arms that "feel."
Though there have been many advances in modern prosthetic devices, the loss of sensory feedback remains an issue, and many amputees struggle with everyday movement.Lack of sensory feedback in transtibial (below-knee) amputation means that the prosthesis user must rely on their residual limb for all motor skills.Patients suffer with problems in balance control, risk of falling, and severe phantom limb pain.A University of Pittsburgh group seeks to address this need for sensory feedback in prosthetic devices.Lee Fisher, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, and Doug Weber, associate professor of bioengineering, were one of four University of Pittsburgh teams to receive a $5.3M National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN award.The NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative aims to advance understanding of the human brain.