Robotic leg prosthesis controlled by thigh muscles

An experimental prosthesis which redirects the nerves from the thigh muscle to a lower robotic leg, and translates them into knee and ankle movements, is a major advance that makes the prosthesis more like a natural leg in walking and navigating stairs. According to MedPageToday, “the system links nerves in the thigh — including some for missing muscles in the lower limb — to a processor that decodes the signals and guides the motion of the prosthesis.”  The nerve data helps to eliminate mechanical errors that can cause falling. The robotic leg is being developed with an $8 million grant from the US Army and work from the Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC) . There are more than one million lower leg amputees in the US, which (along with TBI and PTSD) sadly is a signature injury of the recent and ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The research is being done in conjunction with Vanderbilt University in Nashville and researchers from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the University of Seattle. The New England Journal of Medicine article is here (subscription only). Also MedCityNews

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