Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Polymer May Allow Soldiers With Artificial Limbs To Feel Heat, Cold, Touch

Date:
October 26, 2009
Source:
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Summary:
Current prosthetics may look natural, but they're still primitive -- offering patients no real neurological control other than opening or closing their hand. But for U.S. soldiers who have lost arms and hands in the battlefield, two new studies may bring "real" feeling to artificial limbs.

Current prosthetics may look natural, but they're still primitive -- offering patients no real neurological control other than opening or closing their hand. But for U.S. soldiers who have lost arms and hands in the battlefield, two new studies may bring "real" feeling to artificial limbs.

Physicians at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2009 conference, Oct. 23-27, in Seattle, reveal they have discovered an electrically conducting molecule or polymer (3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene or PEDOT) that helps stimulate and grow new nerve fibers in severed nerves of amputees. Stimulating and growing nerve fibers are one of the first steps in providing amputees more neurologic control over their prosthetics.

The research, conducted through a $5.5 million U.S. Department of Defense grant, may give amputees the ability to move fingers independently, apply the appropriate amount of pressure to objects to better grab and lift something as delicate as Styrofoam cup, and feel sensation.

In one study, plastic surgeons may have found a way to successfully grow new nerve fibers, after they've been severed due to injury, through the electrically conducting PEDOT polymer. PEDOT functions similar to a wire. In the study, the PEDOT was placed in a tube, along with other biologic and synthetic materials, and grafted into the severed leg nerve of a rat. New nerve fibers grew and took over function for the dead or dysfunctional severed nerve springing targeted muscles to life.

In another study, plastic surgeons designed a cup containing cells and muscle that fits around the severed leg nerve of a rat. The PEDOT polymer was wrapped around all of the cells and muscle in the cup to provide an electrical charge. Tests were conducted 114 days after the procedure. The study found new muscle and blood vessels formed, nerve fibers sprouted, and muscle fibers started compensating for lost nerves. After tickling the rat's paw, doctors' were able to pick up electrical signals indicating sensation had returned.

Nearly 5 million reconstructive plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2008, up 7 percent from 2007, reports the ASPS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Polymer May Allow Soldiers With Artificial Limbs To Feel Heat, Cold, Touch." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025194629.htm>.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (2009, October 26). Polymer May Allow Soldiers With Artificial Limbs To Feel Heat, Cold, Touch. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025194629.htm
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Polymer May Allow Soldiers With Artificial Limbs To Feel Heat, Cold, Touch." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091025194629.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins