Giant Step Austrian researchers create artificial leg that can feel sensation

Prof Hubert Egger of the University of Linz, said sensors fitted to the sole of the artificial foot, stimulated nerves at the base of the stump.

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play (BBC)
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Amputees who've lost their legs are set to get a new lease as scientists in Austria have created an artificial leg which allows the amputee to feel lifelike sensations from their foot.

Wolfang Rangger, a recipient of the invention, who lost his right leg in 2007 after a blood clot caused by a stroke, said the leg felt very real, according to him "it feels like I have a foot again. It's like a second lease of life."

Prof Hubert Egger of the University of Linz, said sensors fitted to the sole of the artificial foot, stimulated nerves at the base of the stump.

He added it was the first time that a leg amputee had been fitted with a sensory-enhanced prosthesis.

Ranger has been testing the device for 6 months, both in the lab and at home and says he no longer slips on ice, he also added that he can tell whether I walk on gravel, concrete, grass or sand.

The 54-year-old former teacher also runs, cycles and goes climbing.

play (BBC)

 

BBC reports that another major benefit of the limb was a reduction in excruciating "phantom limb" pain felt by Rangger for years following the amputation.

Prof Egger said the brain now received real data rather than searching for information from the missing limb.

The Austrian research team unveiled their results at a press conference in Vienna, but are yet to publish details in a medical journal.

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