The story of science and scientists is not new. Together the combo has produced some high-end technology base for human kind which aims at discovering many new levels and possibilities in a perfect ratio. It’s not new that the science development is on an extraordinary development but with this, science has made this possible attempt to reach out to disabilities too. In one such case, a successful attempt has been made.
For the first time, scientists have helped a paralyzed man experience the sense of touch through the use of a mind-controlled robotic arm.
Nathan Copeland (18 years old) had an terrible car accident and then he was diagnosed with tetraplegia, paralysis of all four limbs. Five years ago, he volunteered for a cutting edge experiment at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The groundbreaking experiment was a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center that directly involves electrodes smaller than a grain of sand implanted in the sensory cortex of the young man’s brain. Researchers then stimulated this region which is associated with sensation in the right hand and is effectively bypassed the damaged spinal cord. Because the paralyzed man was already connected to a robotic arm, when a researcher pressed the fingers of the prosthesis, the subject felt the pressure in the right fingers of his paralyzed hand.
Over several months, with the help of a subject, the results of the experiment have been repeated that offered a critical breakthrough in the recreation and restoration of function in people with paralyzed limbs.
The research will also be featured before President Barack Obama when he visits Pittsburgh for a White House Frontiers Conference on advances in science, medicine and technology.
On this groundbreaking experiment, a team of surgeons, biomedical engineers and doctors of rehabilitative medicine, were toiling with the technology to enable the paralyzed individuals in restoring sensation to their limbs back.
According to Copeland, he feels his every finger with definite precision. It’s like fingers are getting touched and can also pick up anything.
According to Collinger, “We’ve been working since 2010 to get to this point, doing the background research, doing the regulatory work, and the pre-surgical involvement.”