Fluidhand (pictured above), a new prosthetic device currently developed as a prototype, is being tested at the Orthopedic University Hospital in Heidelberg. In addition to being softer and more natural than other conventional hand prosthetic devices, it allows the user to fully wrap around and grip objects while providing feedback to give the amputee a sense of the strength of the grip. An 18 year old patient at the hospital was the first person in the world to test and compare the Fluidhand to the i-LIMB (previously covered by Medgadget here, and pictured to the right) and a second patient is soon to be fitted with the new prosthesis.
Unlike its predecessors, the new hand can close around objects, even those with irregular surfaces. A large contact surface and soft, passive form elements greatly reduce the gripping power required to hold onto such an object. The hand also feels softer, more elastic, and more natural than conventional hard prosthetic devices.
The flexible drives are located directly in the movable finger joints and operate on the biological principle of the spider leg – to flex the joints, elastic chambers are pumped up by miniature hydraulics. In this way, index finger, middle finger and thumb can be moved independently. The prosthetic hand gives the stump feedback, enabling the amputee to sense the strength of the grip
Press Release: A new prosthetic hand is being tested at the Orthopedic University Hospital in Heidelberg / Grip function almost like a natural hand
We’d like to welcome Rohit Joshi, a medical student at McMaster University in Canada, as an associate editor of Medgadget, this being his first post in the role.