An article in the December 2009 issue of O&P Almanac, entitled “University of Michigan Advances Tissue Engineering”, reveals that researchers are identifying ways to recreate the sense of touch with artificial limb users.
Funded by the Department of Defense, the research project developed from the need for better prosthetic devices for wounded troops. Traditional upper-extremity prosthetic limb designs restrict movement and don’t stimulate sensory involvement.
The process is complex, involving the bonding of muscle cells with a biological scaffold to spur the growth of nerve endings. Researchers believe the interface will help relay sensory perceptions back to the brain, helping to improve fine motor skills with prostheses.
For more information about this University of Michigan study, visit www.med.umich.edu.