World's First Bionic Fingers by Touch Bionics

Scientists from Touch Bionics, the Livingston, West Lothian company claimed that the motor-powered ProDigits bionic fingers that was used by a former concert pianist, Maria Antonia Iglesiast are the world's first bionic fingers.

Maria, from Catalonia, Spain, said the devices allow her to pick up a glass, hold cutlery and write for the first time since she lost her digits after an illness.

The fingers were made by the inventors of the bionic i-Limb hand when they realised more could be done for the estimated 52,000 partial-hand amputees in the EU and 1.2 million people worldwide who have missing digits.

It is estimated that a two-finger amputation leaves an individual with a 20-40 % hand impairment, depending on which fingers are affected.

Ms Iglesias, 42, lost hers after developing pneumococcal septic shock in 2003.

She is among the first to get Touch Bionics' custom-made devices, called ProDigits, which cost between £35,000 and £45,000.

"I am very pleased to be part of this project and the benefits my new hand is giving me are like a dream," she said.

"Even a simple thing like holding and lifting a glass of water to drink from was impossible before, but with ProDigits I can do it easily."

The fake digits, which are covered in a hi-tech robotic skin, are controlled by "myoelectric sensors" which register signals from any muscles that remain in the hand. Alternatively, they can be activated by a pressure-sensitive touch pad.

Via - Sky News

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