Recent advances in hand leg prosthetics,and storage of donor livers to benefit thousands

A new prosthetic leg that senses touch reduces phantom pain

(Laura Sanders, Science News, 9/9/19)

Neuroengineer Stanisa Raspopovic and colleagues tested a new type of prosthetic leg that included sensors to detect pressure and motion, according to their report in Nature Medicine. The researchers found that the leg also reduced phantom pain. The sensors connected to the sciatic nerve, and one of the volunteers claimed that when he closed his eyes, it felt like his own leg.

Scientists triple storage time of human donor livers

(National Institutes of Health, 9/9/19)

NIH researchers were able to triple the viability time of donor livers through a protocol modified from storing rat livers. The method allows livers to be stored for up to 27 hours, compared with the previous time of nine hours. The method involves adding a modified glucose compound and other ingredients to the solution used to cool the livers and avoiding contact with air, among other modifications.

A smart artificial hand for amputees

(Hillary Santuary, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, 9/11/19)

EPFL researchers published results of their design for a robotic hand combining manual finger control with some automation to improve the dexterity of prosthetic hands. Their design was tested on three amputee and seven limbed subjects. The robotic hand can, among other advances, automatically adjust the firmness of its grip when it senses an object slipping.

—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker