Children who stepped on a mine, or people who were in a car accident, hit by drunk drivers, deserve the possibility to live a normal life. Amputees cannot control the prosthesis without having to continuously stare at it. This causes mental and body fatigue. Because of these limitations, users often stop using the device. People with nerve damages lose sensations from their extremities. This reduces their capability of executing activities of daily living. We have developed SENSY, unique worldwide device to restore life-like sensory feedback from the prosthesis of amputees or from the limb of patients with damages to the peripheral nerves.
SENSY is a unique device worldwide, which allows amputees, unlike currently available prostheses, to feel again from missing limbs. It is a neuroprosthetic device, which will be implanted within the residual nerves (in amputees), or healthy part of the nerves (in the case of neuro-damaged subjects), restoring the natural-like flow of the neural sensory information. It will enable subjects to feel natural and complete sensations from the missing or non-functional limb.
The technology behind SENSY
SENSY is a neuroprosthetic device comprising an implantable intraneural electrode for sensory nerve stimulation, an implantable stimulator and an external smart controller, which can be connected to the sensors embedded in the prosthesis or to a sensorized glove or sock. The smart controller is the “brain of the system” which receives information from the prosthesis and transduces it in the language of the nervous system, instructions of stimulation, which it sends to the implantable stimulator. Several options of intended use are possible: without prosthesis (neural sensory “pacemaker”), with sensorized prosthesis, or with the prosthesis with no sensors but with sensorized glove (hand) or sock (foot) over it. The pictures on the right shows the architecture of SENSY, for lower limb amputees.
Featured in Nature Medicine and Science Translational Medicine
The first prototype of SENSY was preliminarily tested by leg amputees wearing a commercial prosthesis. SENSY reduced falls, physical and mental strain for prosthesis users, increased mobility and embodiment, while diminishing phantom pain.
The results of the trial can be found here.
Check out the videos explaining about these preliminary tests with SENSY:
We are developing an industrial prototype of SENSY for use by lower limb amputees.