Cardiff boy, 7, finally walks after losing both legs aged 3

Romeo was diagnosed with purpura fulminans after complaining of leg pain

Romeo Hadley was three years old when he lost both his legs.

Now seven, after 18 months of hard work, he can walk on prosthetic limbs.

Romeo had complained of leg pains before he was diagnosed with purpura fulminans, a thrombotic condition that causes necrosis and blood coagulation.

“He had to lose his legs to stay alive…. although that sounds devastating and awful we took him home and that was enough for us,” explained his mother Katie Hadley, from Cardiff.

The experience of seeing her son so unwell has stayed with her.

Romeo in hospitalImage copyrightFAMILY HANDOUT
Image captionRomeo spent six months in hospital

“It was horrendous and I will never forget it, and even speaking about it now… we don’t speak about it, we stay very positive for Romeo because he is positive,” she said.

“He’s an amazing little boy who’s very very lucky to be alive. So we don’t go back to that time to be honest.”

Romeo spent six months in hospital before he was able to come home. But adapting to life without his legs was hard.

By October 2017, he was able to stand on his prosthetics but did not enjoy using them at home so Mrs Hadley arranged for him to start taking them into school.

Romeo learned to walk on his prosthetics at school

A year later she received a video of Romeo finally walking without a frame with the assistance of his teacher.

“I was blown away,” she said.

“My husband and I, our whole family, [my daughter] Seren, everyone, was so emotional to see how well he’s done.

“If he can do that now, what can he do in the future?”

The Hadley family
Image caption The Hadley family from left to right: Jonathan, Seren, Romeo and Katie

Romeo loves playing football and dreams of being a professional basketball player.

“My husband and I are here to just make him psychologically strong enough to cope with life in the future,” said Mrs Hadley.

“Romeo loves life, he’s gorgeous, and he’s absolutely the happiness in this house.

“He gets on with life… he enjoys every single moment.”

Romeo’s mother says he is lucky to be alive

Source of the article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-46152647?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cq23pdgvrdwt/prosthetics&link_location=live-reporting-story

DOCTORS WIRED A PROSTHETIC HAND DIRECTLY INTO A WOMAN’S NERVES

JON CHRISTIAN__FILED UNDER: ENHANCED HUMANS
VICTOR TANGERMANN

Sans Hand

In a world first, doctors in Sweden say they’ve wired a prosthetic hand directly into a woman’s nervesallowing her to move its fingers with her mind and even feel tactile sensations.

The hand is an enormous step up from existing prostheses, which often rely on electrodes placed on the outside of the skin — and it could herald a future in which robotic devices interface seamlessly with our bodies.

Nerve Case

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and biotech firm Integrum AB created the prosthetic hand as part of DeTOP, an ambitious European research program on prosthetic limbs.

Surgeons anchored the hand to the woman’s forearm bones using titanium implants. They connected an array of 16 electrodes directly to her nerves and muscles, allowing her to control the hand with her mind — and, according to photos, use it to tie shoelaces and type on a laptop computer.

“The breakthrough of our technology consists on enabling patients to use implanted neuromuscular interfaces to control their prosthesis while perceiving sensations where it matters for them, in their daily life,” Chalmers researcher Ortiz Catalan said in a press release.

Virtual Light

Electronics wired straight into a human nervous system allow for mind-bending new ways to interact with technology. A video released by the Swedish researchers even shows the woman using the implant to flex a virtual hand on a computer screen — before the actual physical hand was installed.

For decades, cyborg limbs like those depicted in “Star Wars” or “Neuromancer” seemed relegated to the realm of science fiction. New research shows that they’re already here — just not yet widely available.

Source of the Article: https://futurism.com/the-byte/prosthetic-hand-womans-nerves

Woman is given first robotic hand that allows user to touch and feel

The battery-powered limb could be available on the NHS within a few years, British researchers say

By Martin Bagot Health And Science Correspondent

(Image: Dr Max Ortiz Catalan)

The first robotic hand that enables the amputee to touch and feel has been given to a Swedish woman.

The revolutionary mechanical limb is controlled by electrodes connected to nerves and muscles in the stump

Signals pass “tactile sensations” to the nerves while allowing the body to control a range of motions similar to a real hand.

British researchers involved in the EU-funded project say the battery-powered limb could be available on the NHS within a few years.

The prosthetic could soon be available on the NHS (Image: PA)

Dr Luca Citi, of Essex University, said: “This is a big thing. Currently amputees would have to watch their prosthetic hand if they are picking up, say a plastic cup, to check they are not crushing it.

Source of the Article: https://www.mirror.co.uk/science/woman-given-first-robotic-hand-13956377

Surgical technique improves sensation, control of prosthetic limb

Surgical technique improves sensation, control of prosthetic limb
A schematic demonstrating the control mechanism of the neural interface. The subject’s leg movement is sent to the prosthesis as an EMG signal (blue arrows), and the movement of the prosthesis is communicated back to the subject’s nervous system (green arrow). Credit: T.R. Clites et al., Science Translational Medicine (2018)

Humans can accurately sense the position, speed, and torque of their limbs, even with their eyes shut. This sense, known as proprioception, allows humans to precisely control their body movements.

Despite significant improvements to prosthetic devices in recent years, researchers have been unable to provide this essential sensation to people with artificial limbs, limiting their ability to accurately control their movements.

Researchers at the Center for Extreme Bionics at the MIT Media Lab have invented a new neural interface and communication paradigm that is able to send movement commands from the central nervous system to a robotic prosthesis, and relay proprioceptive feedback describing movement of the joint back to the central nervous system in return.

This new paradigm, known as the agonist-antagonist myoneural interface (AMI), involves a novel surgical approach to  amputation in which dynamic muscle relationships are preserved within the amputated limb. The AMI was validated in extensive preclinical experimentation at MIT prior to its first surgical implementation in a human patient at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.

In a paper published today in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers describe the first human implementation of the agonist-antagonist myoneural interface (AMI), in a person with below-knee amputation.

The paper represents the first time information on joint position, speed, and torque has been fed from a prosthetic limb into the nervous system, according to senior author and project director Hugh Herr, a professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab.

“Our goal is to close the loop between the peripheral nervous system’s muscles and nerves, and the bionic appendage,” says Herr.

To do this, the researchers used the same biological sensors that create the body’s natural proprioceptive sensations.

The AMI consists of two opposing muscle-tendons, known as an agonist and an antagonist, which are surgically connected in series so that when one muscle contracts and shortens—upon either volitional or electrical activation—the other stretches, and vice versa.

This coupled movement enables natural biological sensors within the muscle-tendon to transmit electrical signals to the central nervous system, communicating muscle length, speed, and force information, which is interpreted by the brain as natural joint proprioception.

“Because the muscles have a natural nerve supply, when this agonist-antagonist muscle movement occurs information is sent through the nerve to the brain, enabling the person to feel those muscles moving, both their position, speed, and load,” he says.

By connecting the AMI with electrodes, the researchers can detect electrical pulses from the muscle, or apply electricity to the muscle to cause it to contract.

“When a person is thinking about moving their phantom ankle, the AMI that maps to that bionic ankle is moving back and forth, sending signals through the nerves to the brain, enabling the person with an amputation to actually feel their bionic ankle moving throughout the whole angular range,” Herr says.

Decoding the electrical language of proprioception within nerves is extremely difficult, according to Tyler Clites, first author of the paper and graduate student lead on the project.

“Using this approach, rather than needing to speak that electrical language ourselves, we use these  to speak the language for us,” Clites says. “These sensors translate mechanical stretch into electrical signals that can be interpreted by the brain as sensations of position, speed, and force.”The AMI was first implemented surgically in a human patient at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Boston, by Matthew Carty, one of the paper’s authors, a surgeon in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and an MIT research scientist.

In this operation, two AMIs were constructed in the residual limb at the time of primary below-knee amputation, with one AMI to control the prosthetic ankle joint, and the other to control the prosthetic subtalar joint.

“We knew that in order for us to validate the success of this new approach to amputation, we would need to couple the procedure with a novel prosthesis that could take advantage of the additional capabilities of this new type of residual limb,” Carty says. “Collaboration was critical, as the design of the procedure informed the design of the robotic limb, and vice versa.”

Toward this end, an advanced prosthetic limb was built at MIT and electrically linked to the patient’s peripheral nervous system using electrodes placed over each AMI muscle following the amputation surgery.

Surgical technique improves sensation, control of prosthetic limb
Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The researchers then compared the movement of the AMI patient with that of four people who had undergone a traditional below-knee amputation procedure, using the same advanced prosthetic limb.

They found that the AMI patient had more stable control over movement of the prosthetic device and was able to move more efficiently than those with the conventional amputation. They also found that the AMI patient quickly displayed natural, reflexive behaviors such as extending the toes toward the next step when walking down a set of stairs.

These behaviors are essential to natural human movement and were absent in all of the people who had undergone a traditional amputation.

What’s more, while the patients with conventional  reported feeling disconnected to the prosthesis, the AMI patient quickly described feeling that the bionic ankle and foot had become a part of their own body.

“This is pretty significant evidence that the brain and the spinal cord in this patient adopted the prosthetic leg as if it were their biological limb, enabling those biological pathways to become active once again,” Clites says. “We believe proprioception is fundamental to that adoption.”

Surgical technique improves sensation, control of prosthetic limb
Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The researchers have since carried out the AMI procedure on nine other below-knee amputees and are planning to adapt the technique for those needing above-knee, below-elbow, and above-elbow amputations.

“Previously humans have used technology in a tool-like fashion,” Herr says. “We are now starting to see a new era of human-device interaction, of full neurological embodiment, in which what we design becomes truly part of us, part of our identity.”

Source of the Article: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-05-surgical-technique-sensation-prosthetic-limb.html

Source of the Article: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-05-surgical-technique-sensation-prosthetic-limb.html

3D-printing dad makes bike for children missing limbs

 

Adam Dengel and son ThomasImage copyright ADAM DENGEL                                                                            Adam Dengel was inspired to start helping other children through experiences with his son

A dad who builds 3D-printed arms in his garage workshop has created a specially adapted bicycle for children missing an upper limb.

Adam Dengel, 30, created his first DIY limb in his bedroom for son Thomas, four, who was born without a hand.

He has since set up a charity and made superhero-themed prosthetics free of charge for children around the world.

For his latest project, he plans to surprise four children with their own custom-made bikes.

They cost £220 to make and are fitted with an ergonomic cup which allows the rider to reach the handlebars without leaning.

Mr Dengel said the modification makes the bikes safer to ride than a normal model.

The parts, like the arms, are created on Mr Dengel’s 3D printer in the garage of his home in Royston, Barnsley, which he has converted into a workshop.

“These kids haven’t had the best start in life and we wanted to help boost their confidence,” he said.

“Plus this gets them outside, riding bikes with other youngsters, and helping them to make friends.”

The adapted bikeImage copyright ADAM DENGEL
The design means children with missing upper limbs do not have to lean to reach the handlebars

Mr Dengel, 30 and his wife Katie were inspired to help others through their experiences with their son.

Thomas was born with a short forearm and missing his hand due to amniotic band syndrome – a rare condition where stray bands of tissue wrap around the limbs of an unborn baby and cut off blood flow.

Unhappy with the basic NHS prosthetic, the couple started looking at alternatives and found a charity which made Thomas his first mechanical arm.

This led him to buy his own printer and set about creating a number of colourful, comic book-inspired hands for his son – including his latest Batman-themed prosthetic.

Some of the arms made by Adam DengelImage copyrightADAM DENGEL
Image captionThe bike adaptations and arms are built by 3D printers
Thomas DengelImage copyright ADAM DENGEL
Son Thomas has a selection of superhero arms thanks to his father’s efforts
Presentational white space

Through the couple’s charity LimbBo Foundation, Mr Dengel has so far built 33 personalised arms for children, including youngsters in America and Holland.

“To say we the charity started out as an idea on the sofa we’re thrilled with how things have gone,” he said.

“We only ever wanted to help other kids like Thomas and it gives us so much pleasure to know we’re doing that.”

Source of the article: BBC News