Hand prosthetic gives teen new independence

August 25, 2011 by Nancy Owano weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- A 15 year old British girl, Chloe Holmes, has been in the news as being among the youngest in Europe to wear a special prosthetic hand with state of the art bionic fingers. The bionic digits have enabled her to cut her own food, to eat with knife and fork, and brush her teeth for the first time since stricken with streptococcal septicemia, after coming down with chicken pox, at three years of age. The illness caused her to lose all her fingers on the left hand. She was left with one thumb and half a finger on her right hand. Sensors in the sleeve of her prosthetic hand made by Touch Bionics in Scotland enable her to manipulate objects, no small achievement considering the difficulties amputees have traditionally faced in living with prosthetic hands.

The company has enhanced its technologies to the point of enabling prosthetic to grip narrow objects, referred to as the “credit card grip,” and “power hold” motions for wider objects like coffee mugs.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The bionic hand that has helped her experience such milestones cost approximately £38,000 ($54,700). An older, and far less expensive, generation of artificial hands have enabled people with hand amputations to open and close their hands; a newer generation of myoelectric prostheses enable the manipulation of fingers for greater hand independence. Touch Bionics has since 2007 been turning corners in myoelectric prostheses with enhancements that showcase how far the technology has come.

The company's BioSim software allows medical practitioners to observe patients' myoelectric impulses and to deploy control options and features.

Touch Bionics has a family of prosthetic products: i-LIMB Pulse, for advanced activity needs, the i-LIMB hand, and ProDigits for partial hand absence.

The i-LIMB hand, with its five individually powered digits, won the 2008 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award. It's a prestigious prize in the UK, awarded for innovations in engineering.

Explore further: Scientists develop 'clever' artificial hand

More information: via Daily Mail

Related Stories

Scientists develop 'clever' artificial hand

September 7, 2005

Scientists have developed a new ultra-light limb that can mimic the movement in a real hand better than any currently available. This research was presented today at the Institute of Physics conference Sensors and their Applications ...

High-tech bionic hand invented in England

July 19, 2007

The new, high-tech i-LIMB bionic hand, with five motorized fingers, will soon be sold in Britain for about $17,000, The Telegraph reported Thursday.

Amputees can experience prosthetic hand as their own

December 11, 2008

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet and Lund University in Sweden have succeeded in inducing people with an amputated arm to experience a prosthetic rubber hand as belonging to their own body. The results can lead to the ...

Robotic Hand That Senses Touch (w/ Video)

October 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Italy, the Smart Hand project has given patient, Robin af Ekenstam (see video) the sense of touch in his new prosthesis ...

Smartphone technology improves prosthetic limbs

December 13, 2010

Losing a limb can be a devastating experience, and while electrically powered prostheses can serve as a replacement for a lost arm, they are notoriously difficult to operate, and will never fully replace normal hand function. ...

Recommended for you

The ethics of robot love

November 25, 2015

There was to have been a conference in Malaysia last week called Love and Sex with Robots but it was cancelled. Malaysian police branded it "illegal" and "ridiculous". "There is nothing scientific about sex with robots," ...

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.