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First-of-Its-Kind Bioengineered Robotic Hand to Sense Touch


The research team is creating a living pathway from the robot's touch sensation to the user's brain to help amputees control the robotic hand.

A first-of-its-kind bioengineered robotic hand will grow and adapt to its environment.

Credit: Florida Atlantic University

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and the University of Utah are developing a bioengineered robotic hand that will grow and adapt to its environment, with its own peripheral nervous system directly linking to sensors and actuators.

In addition, the hand has numerous sensory receptors that respond to changes in the environment.

"We are going to directly connect these living nerves in vitro and then electrically stimulate them on a daily basis with sensors from the robotic hand to see how the nerves grow and regenerate while the hand is operated by limb-absent people," says FAU professor Erik Engeberg.

During the study, the neurons will not be kept in conventional Petri dishes, but in biocompatible microfluidic chambers providing a nurturing environment that mimics the basic function of living cells.

"This research also has broad applications for people who suffer from other forms of neurotrauma such as stroke and spinal cord injuries," notes FAU professor Stella Batalama.

From FAU News Desk
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