Scientists from the Swiss Higher Technical School of Zurich have created a leg prosthesis that allows a person to feel when the prosthesis touches the ground or bends at the knee joint, The Daily Mail reported.
According to the source, the prosthesis sends electrical signals to four electrodes implanted in the patient’s tibial nerve. These electrodes in the leg pick up via Bluetooth the signals emitted by the sensors in the prosthesis itself (one of the sensors is located in the knee and signals bending).
Usually, this nerve picks up signals coming from the lower leg. Using the same mechanism, scientists connected the prosthesis and the human body. The new prosthesis worked well in three patients whose legs were amputated above the knee. The prosthesis made it possible to climb stairs 30% faster and reduced the risk of falls.
The developers emphasize that for the first time they managed to create a connection between the prosthesis and the human body with amputation performed above the knee. As a result, it has become easier for people to move on an uneven surface, while not looking at their feet.
Tests showed that activating the electrode system allowed volunteers to feel the stones under their feet, pressure, vibration and tingling in 27 areas of the leg; they stumbled only in 5% of cases.